There was something eerily familiar about Eddie Ockenden's record-breaking international hockey appearance being his 366th.
The figure meant more than him having spent a year and a day in the green and gold of his beloved Kookaburras.
It had special significance in Tasmanian terms, and also internationally.
Attempting to nail it was like searching for an elusive answer during an entertaining afternoon television quiz show with a genial, likeable host, or Millionaire Hot Seat.
But eventually it surfaced from that corner of my brain marked "useless sport trivia" which, incidentally, is several times larger than other corners including "people's names", "how to fix a computer" and "things The Wife told me not to forget".
The number 366 also adorns Ricky Ponting's Test cap.
The coincidence is strangely apt as Ockenden would surely rate as Tasmania's highest profile sporting leader since Ponting.
And the parallels between them are uncanny.
Both captained Australia to global glory and became recognised among the world's best in their fields - Ponting having been named Wisden cricketer of the year in 2006 and Ockenden nominated for FIH world player of the year in 2011, '14 and '19 having won the young player award in 2008.
Both played their sport around the planet - from Kolkata Knight Riders and Antigua Hawksbills to the Uttar Pradesh Wizards and Laren Mixed Hockey Club - while retaining an unbreakable bond with their home-town club. Ponting's devotion to Mowbray is the stuff of legend while Ockenden's love for Hobart's North West Grads was best summed up in an interview with The Examiner last February.
"I remember thinking 'These guys are awesome, they're so good. I'd love to play in this team one day.' I never thought I'd be good enough to play in the men's A-grade team," said the man who went on to win two World Cups, two World Leagues, seven Champions Trophies and is on course for his fourth Olympic Games.
Of interest to fellow sport trivia nerds, they are also both Commonwealth Games finalists, although Ockenden's three gold medals from the Kookaburras' perfect 20-year tournament record carries rather more emphasis than Ponting's oft-forgotten silver from cricket's solitary appearance at the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur.
However, perhaps the most significant similarities are their willingness to put team success above personal achievement and the esteem in which they are held by teammates.
Ockenden's devotion to the Kookaburras' cause saw him burst onto the scene as a dynamic young striker at the 2008 Beijing Olympics before conversions to a midfield workhorse and then play-making defender.
He is also the regular trapper at penalty corners - the unsung but pivotal link between the corner-taker and flick specialist without whom players like Chris Ciriello would not have been able to score hat-tricks in both the World Cup and Commonwealth Games finals of 2014.
Ockenden's standing among his peers shone out from the comments around Saturday's 5-1 defeat of reigning Olympic champions Argentina when the 32-year-old surpassed Jamie Dwyer's record of 365 international caps.
Teammate Tom Wickham described him as "the ultimate Kookaburra", adding: "From Ed's perspective, he will just be happy to go out and put the Kookaburras shirt on."
Tyler Lovell called him "a humble, hardworking person and outstanding athlete", Blake Govers highlighted "his team-first mentality" and coach Colin Batch neatly summed up the mutually-beneficial relationship: "We love Eddie Ockenden and Eddie Ockenden loves the Kookaburras."
As for the man whose record Ockenden claimed, Dwyer observed: "There is no reason why he can't keep going and reach 400 games."
Watched by his parents Clive and Angela, partner Louise and sons Oscar and Fedde, Ockenden was clearly more comfortable captaining the team and having a hand in three of the goals than being the focus of all the attention.
"It was really nice to feel the love from all of the boys," he admitted. "It is a special team and I love being part of the Kookaburras so that is what means the most to me."
As for how much longer he has left in the green and gold, a man who once spent a week in intensive care with a ruptured kidney sustained in a hockey match appeared in no hurry to call time on the game.
"I'm pretty focused on the Olympics and I will try to keep playing after Tokyo because I'm loving it at the moment, so there is no real timeline," he said.
Delighted to report that Shaw Things ($29.95, Forty South) is now available at 56 outlets around Tasmania and selling well.— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) January 24, 2020
Thanks for all the support.
Can also post copies if required.
Check out the Facebook page for more info:https://t.co/IZ31h1HEbopic.twitter.com/pqSO8yBkRW
In our interview last year he was more forthcoming about his reluctance to stop playing.
"It's hard to find a passion in life that you get to do so I'm very fortunate to have done that for 15 years. If I could find something close to that I think I'd be very lucky. At the moment I don't think I could find something that I could love as much."
Ponting retired having played 375 one-day matches for Australia. Ockenden has reached 366.
Assuming he maintains his phenomenal record with (or rather without) injuries since the regrettable kidney incident 18 years ago and the Olympics do not fall victim to the coronavirus, Ockenden should pass Ponting later this year.
Hockey may not enjoy the same profile, media coverage or financial turnover as cricket, but the two Tasmanian talismen deserve to be placed on the same pedestal.
Subscriptions are available here.
Sign up to our Sport email here.