Former PM Hawke's beer-downing antics a hit with Handscomb

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Former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke amused spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground by downing a beer on Wednesday - and his antics did not go unnoticed out in the middle.

Hawke, 87, was cheered loudly by fans when he appeared on the big screen at the SCG during day two of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan, and swiftly sank his drink before raising his glass in triumph.

It is not the first time Hawke has performed such a feat in public and Australia batsman Peter Handscomb - who recorded his maiden Test hundred as the hosts piled on the runs - certainly enjoyed the spectacle.

"Yeah, I definitely saw it," said a grinning Handscomb when asked about the incident.

"I think I was out there with Hilton [Cartwright] at the time and it was in between overs and he [Hawke] was 'cheers-ing' the crowd.

"Hilton and I were talking to each other and we were like, 'surely not, is he going to do it, is he going to do it?'

"And then as he did we both started going nuts out in the middle, which was awesome. And the crowd joined in as well, so that was pretty cool."