Worcestershire CCC have moved swiftly to replace John Hastings, after his ICC Trophy call-up, with another Australian player of international pedigree in spinner Nathan Lyon subject to the normal NOC from Cricket Australia. Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes has secured the services of 29-year-old Lyon for when Hastings is representing his country during June in the 50 over tournament.
Lyon is a proven performer and has taken 247 wickets in 67 Tests including five wickets or more in an innings on nine occasions. He currently stands as Australia’s greatest Test finger spinner and Australia’s third greatest Test spinner wicket taker of all time. He achieved his career best figures just two months ago during the series in India when returning 8-50 in Bangaluru. Lyon has also played 13 ODIS and one T20I and the New South Wales born player represented Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash this winter.
Nathan will be the latest in a long line of top notch Australian players to represent the County including Tom Moody, Glenn McGrath, Andy Bichel, Phil Hughes, Steve Smith and Hastings. A delighted Rhodes confirmed:
“Nathan Lyon will be joining us and he will replace John (Hastings). He is a very good replacement. It is a different slant, from a pace bowler to a spin bowler.
“The good thing for Worcestershire supporters is we have replaced a top international with another top international cricketer.
“Nathan has been mainly playing Test Match cricket for Australia and is available for Worcestershire CCC as he has not been picked for the Champions Trophy, Australia have selected a couple of batting spinners instead.
“He is the number one international spinner in Australia at the moment and just had recent success in India.
“Nathan is a very respected off spinner and we are looking forward to him joining us and replacing John for the time he is away.”
With many of the world’s top players involved in the ICC Trophy, Rhodes has pulled off a coup to secure a player of the quality of Lyon. He said:
“If you look at top international bowlers who are available while the Champions Trophy is going on – plus those with West Indies and Afghanistan – you don’t seem to see many who are available.
“Nathan has never played County cricket and I really try to get overseas players who are looking for a challenge and are hungry to succeed. He is a great competitor and to get someone like Nathan is really important for Worcestershire.”
Rhodes also believes the County’s young spinners in George Rhodes and Ben Twohig will benefit from working with Lyon in the same as they did with New Zealander Mitchell Santner last summer.
“Signing a top class international spinner is terrific for us from the performance angle. “Nathan is also a very committed dressing room man and our young spinners like George Rhodes and Ben Twohig will have the opportunities to pick his brains over that period.
“That will be fantastic for them and a big boost to those two players.”