Hobart: Police here this morning have resumed the grim search around the former Blundstone Arena and environs for former Test star Peter Siddle, 36, after they arrested an imposter at the change of innings in the Hobart Hurricanes/Adelaide Strikers Big Bash League match last night.
Police nabbed the imposter (pictured above) as he walked off the University of Tasmania Stadium arena after bagging what would have been career-best BBL figures of 5/16 and the best return for a player of his age for the real Peter Siddle as the Strikers held the Hurricanes to, as it turned out, a very gettable 146.
Strikers skipper Alex Carey has told police the last time he and his teammates had seen the real Peter Siddle was on the team bus drive to the ground.
“Peter had just finished a second double Whopper with extra cheese and had dozed off which he does a bit at his age. We let him be after one of his teammates cleaned up the dribble on the poor old bloke’s chin.
“It was only when we walked out to field that we found this guy among us who I guessed looked a bit like Sids but just much younger and fitter and with that ridiculous blond punk hairdo. But by then it was too late to say anything.
“I threw the ball to him anyway as planned and of course I was delighted with his five-wicket hall, whoever he is, although some of his dismissals has an element of luck about them.
“His bowling certainly had some vim and zest about it which reminded me of Sids a decade ago before he entered the midnight … sorry …. I mean the twilight of his playing career which is why he’s playing this pyjama-game bullshit to make a bob.”
Police believe the player switch would have required at least three villains, with at least two needed to bundle the chubby middle-aged Siddle away and for the imposter to step quickly and undetected into his place.
CCTV has captured Siddle as he emerged from the visitors’ dressing rooms well after his teammates with a half-eaten foot-long hot dog in one hand and a 13oz plastic cup of Cascade lager in the other. Unfortunately, he disappears from view just before the moment police believe he was abducted.
“At this stage, we are still actively engaged in a rescue, rather than recovery, mission,” a police spokesperson said.
Strikers coach Jason Gillespie has asked police whether it would be possible for the imposter to be released on bail in time for the Strikers’ next clash against the Sydney Sixers on Sunday.