Australian cricket January 10, 2017

Four-fingered Hazlewood?

ESPNcricinfo staff
When the Australian quick's ring finger went missing

How many fingers is that, Josh? © Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Notice anything strange in the photo above? Wait, what? Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has only four fingers on his bowling hand?

Not really. It's not even Photoshop. The photographer, Matt King, just happened to snap the quick from the wrong - or right - angle at the wrong time.

This photo of Hazlewood appealing was published by Getty Images on day three of the Sydney Test against Pakistan, and three days later went up on the Australian team's official Facebook page to mark Hazlewood's birthday. Cue in a big round of doubts, disbelief and conspiracy theories on social media. The photo was so convincing, it forced King to dig up his original files and have a second look.

"I had no idea until I saw the picture used on Facebook," King told the Cricket Australia website. "I thought, 'That's my photo!' But I hadn't noticed any missing finger on Hazlewood before. I went back to the original file and checked it and, yeah, the finger was missing. I couldn't work it where it had gone. But absolutely no Photoshop was involved, we do not do that."

King found the finger was not missing in the photos taken just before this one, during the same appeal, but as Hazlewood's hand rotated the ring finger became obscured by the little finger. "He kind of rolls his hand as he moves and slowly the ring finger is obscured. It was just by chance that I chose that one frame where the finger is entirely obscured to publish."

Classic camera trickery there.