Bazball non-believer to get first-hand look as Lyon signs up for county stint alongside old Ashes foe

Even though he thinks Bazball is “a load of shit”, Nathan Lyon will head to England next year to play county cricket with Lancashire, teaming up with his old Ashes foe James Anderson.

Lyon’s eventful trip to England in 2023 featured triumph, sadness and injury as the spinning master, who had been the batting hero of the first-Test win at Edgbaston, ended up suffering a tour-ending torn calf muscle at Lord’s in the second match.

But the 36-year-old, who’s closing in on 500 Test wickets for Australia, has agreed to return to England for the 2024 season where he will enjoy his second spell playing county cricket.

He caused headlines last week when he labelled Bazball “a load of shit” during an interview on The Front Bar so now he will get a first-hand look at England’s county aspirants trying out the high-octane style of red-ball cricket in their attempts to get into Brendon McCullum’s national squad.

Lancashire feel they’ve pulled off a coup, with the most prolific wicket-taking spinner in the Test arena Lyon (496) joining their ageless England paceman Jimmy Anderson, who’s currently the leading active wicket taker (690) in the international red-ball game.

Lyon had previously played for Worcestershire in 2017 and helped them to promotion from Division Two.

“This is an exciting opportunity for me and I am really looking forward to heading over to England for a full season of county cricket with Lancashire,” Lyon said.

“I love playing cricket in England. I’m keen to keep learning, keep improving my game and hopefully I can contribute to winning matches for the Red Rose and pass on some of the experiences that I have gained over the years throughout my career.

“They have a strong squad at Lancashire and Old Trafford is a really great venue to play cricket at, so I am looking forward to that. It will also be great to catch up with Jimmy Anderson too.”

???? “To bring someone in with that level of experience and quality is fantastic.”

Director of Cricket Performance Mark Chilton on the overseas addition of Nathan Lyon for 2024. ????

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— Lancashire Cricket (@lancscricket) November 30, 2023

Prior to his injury in England, Lyon had featured in his 100th consecutive Test for Australia and he’s currently working his way back to fitness with New South Wales, having bowled seven overs for no wickets in their win this week over Tasmania.

Lancashire expect to have Lyon available for the start of the county championship season in April after he will have hoped to have gone past 500 wickets in Tests over the Australian summer.

Mark Chilton, Lancashire director of cricket performance, wasn’t hiding Lancashire’s delight at snapping up Lyon’s services.

“Once we heard that he was available for the duration of next summer, we jumped at the opportunity to add him to our squad,” he said.

“His bowling record in both international and domestic cricket speaks for itself.

“We have several young spin bowlers in our squad and for them to have the opportunity to learn from and play alongside somebody with almost 500 Test match wickets will be invaluable in their development.

“I am sure Nathan will play an equally significant role off the pitch as he will on it.”

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