STAR POWER: Hazlewood to make Sixers return in Coffs Harbour
CRICKET fans are in for an added treat tomorrow night, with Australian test star Josh Hazlewood to line up for the Sydney Sixers.
Hazlewood hurt his hamstring in the first test against New Zealand in December, though has made a quicker than expected recovery and will make his return to the sport through the Big Bash League.
The seamer hasn't played in the BBL since the 2013/14 season.
"The hamstring is great, it came together quite quickly," Hazlewood told media in Coffs Harbour on Saturday.
"It was only a minor tear and it was really bad timing that I did it in the first test of three tests in three weeks.
"If it was a one-dayer that started yesterday I might have been half a chance but it was probably a bit too risky for a test match."
The 28-year-old said he's looking forward to donning the Sixers' magenta kit once more, a franchise he has been a part of since BBL01 when they won both the BBL and Champions League.
Hazlewood knows firsthand the boost high-level sport can give to regional communities, with the imposing quick having grown up learning his craft on the fields around Tamworth and Bendemeer.
"Growing up we barely had anything like this in Tamworth, we had the odd player from different sports come up," he said.
"I think it's great BBL teams take these games to regional areas and it's been going on through the whole BBL this year and the crowds have turned out.
"I haven't been up here in quite a while and played cricket in this area so to bring a BBL game up here and get a sold out crowd is fantastic.
"Its great to get out into regional areas and get the kids along and get them to see a high-profile game."
More than 10,000 people will pack out C.ex Coffs International Stadium tomorrow night to witness the pivotal clash between the second-placed Sixers and third-placed Strikers.
Hazlewood is hoping he can make a seamless return from injury and give the fans a night to remember.
"They've been playing some pretty good cricket, I've obviously been watching from the couch for the first bit of the tournament, so I'm excited to get out there tomorrow night.
"I'm probably a little bit rusty in a few areas but the last week and a half I've had a few bowls and been working on some change-ups which you can do in T20."