‘It’s definitely not my call’: Lyon roars disapproval with CA cutting short county stint


Nathan Lyon has revealed his disappointment that Australia’s cricket chiefs have prevented him from playing his first full season of county cricket in England with Lancashire.

On the eve of his county championship debut at the start of the English season, the veteran spinning ace said on Thursday his hands had been tied over Cricket Australia’s decision last week that he should cut his stint because of the potential heavy workload before the India Test series.

CA allowed Lyon to play only seven of Lancashire’s first nine county championship fixtures before returning home in July, meaning that he’ll also miss the county’s white-ball schedule.  

“Yeah, it’s definitely not my call,” Lyon told BBC Lancashire, when asked about his truncated season.

“That’s the nature of the beast. It’s a business now and Cricket Australia have come over the top and said they want to manage me and hopefully extend my playing career for the next three to four years, whatever it may be. 

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“It’s disappointing, because I signed here wanting to play all games and even play some T20 cricket and was thoroughly looking forward to that. But it is what it is, and my hands are tied.”

But despite his disappointment, the 36-year-old, looking forward to his opening match against Surrey at Old Trafford on Friday, was left savouring the prospect of teaming up with England legend Jimmy Anderson in Lancashire’s attack.

“It’ll be pretty amazing. I’d be lying if I said that (playing alongside Anderson) wasn’t a big, big part of the reason why I signed,” said Lyon, who has 530 Test wickets to Anderson’s 700.

“Obviously he’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, fast bowler to ever play the game. 

“I’ve had some incredible battles against him. I admire his skill, nothing but respect from my end for for what he’s been able to do for England cricket but also world cricket, in inspiring young boys and girls to play the game. 

“If the opportunity comes around that I’ll get to bowl in tandem with him and share a change-room with him, it’ll be pretty special.”

But Lyon could also be inspiring the old enemy’s best new spin hope too, as he joins forces with young gun Tom Hartley, who jokes that he’s going to bend the veteran’s ear all summer. 

“Perfect, I absolutely love that,” said Lyon.

“I’ve already had some decent conversations with him already. I’m not coming over here to put him out of a spot, I’m to bowl with him and and hopefully pass on a bit of knowledge – and if we can work together, I dare say we’ll win some games.”

Lyon, whose wife and baby son are also joining him for his spell in Manchester, said he’d told Lancashire coach Dale Benkenstein: “I’m coming over fully invested in Lancs cricket.

“I’m a cricket nuffy, I love spin bowling, and I want to try and get better and feel like by me helping out some younger spinners, that will help my game as well.

“This has been on my list to do since when I was growing up, the opportunity to come over here and compete in English conditions and learn a little bit more about my game. 

“Lancashire were able to come to the party and it’s a pretty amazing opportunity.”

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