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Australia’s Lyon eager to link-up with Anderson at Lancashire

Anderson ambition: Australia's Nathan Lyon is looking forward to being a teammate, rather than an opponent, of England great James Anderson at Lancashire (Pat Hoelscher)


Anderson ambition: Australia's Nathan Lyon is looking forward to being a teammate, rather than an opponent, of England great James Anderson at Lancashire (Pat Hoelscher)

Anderson ambition: Australia’s Nathan Lyon is looking forward to being a teammate, rather than an opponent, of England great James Anderson at Lancashire (Pat Hoelscher)

Australia’s Nathan Lyon has said the chance to be on the same side as longstanding Ashes rival James Anderson was a “big part” of his decision to sign up for a stint with English county side Lancashire.

Landing a leading international cricketer to feature in the county game is now a major achievement given the increased demands on top players from their national sides and the lure of multiple franchise tournaments around the world.

But Lancashire have still managed to sign Lyon.

Although the off-spinner only arrived in England on Tuesday, he could yet feature in Lancashire’s team for their first-class County Championship opener against title-holders Surrey at Old Trafford starting Friday.

There has been much talk of how Lyon might mentor Lancashire spinner Tom Hartley, following the left-armer’s emergence on England’s recent tour of India.

Lyon, however, said it was the chance to join forces with England great Anderson, the most successful fast bowler in Test history, that drew him to Old Trafford.

Lyon is the latest big name international cricketer to play for Lancashire, with the likes of Pakistan’s Wasim Akram, India’s Farokh Engineer and West Indies’ Clive Lloyd among an impressive list to have lined up for them.

Anderson, 41, is currently resting following England’s 4-1 series loss in India but the swing specialist and Lyon, who have 1,230 Test wickets between them, could yet feature in the same Lancashire XI.

“That would be pretty amazing. I’d be lying if I said that opportunity coming around wasn’t a big part of the reason I signed,” Lyon told BBC Radio Lancashire.

“He’s one of the greatest, if not the greatest, fast bowler to have played the game,” the 36-year-old added.

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

“If the opportunity comes around that I get to bowl in tandem with him and share a changing room with him it will be pretty special, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Lyon was initially signed by Lancashire for the entire English season, across all formats, but has seen that schedule reduced to seven first-class games at the insistence of Cricket Australia chiefs concerned by his potential workload.

“It’s definitely not my call, that’s the nature of the beast,” he said. “CA have come over the top and said they wanted to manage me and hopefully extend my career. My hands are tied.”

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