Australia news April 24, 2013

Nathan Lyon to join New South Wales

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Australia's No. 1 spin bowler Nathan Lyon consulted his former Test team-mate Michael Hussey before deciding to leave South Australia and return to New South Wales, in a move that will take him closer to his family and also the spin mentoring of Stuart MacGill.

Lyon grew up in New South Wales but has not played for the state, having emerged through cricket in Canberra before he took up a job on the Adelaide Oval groundstaff in 2010 and was plucked from there into the South Australia side.

Explaining his decision to ESPNcricinfo, Lyon said he wanted to spend the time he had when not on international duty closer to his family, who hail from the town of Young in country New South Wales. Hussey handed Lyon stewardship of the Australian team song Under the Southern Cross on his retirement, and the pair have remained close.

"I haven't taken this decision lightly at all, I've spoken to a lot of people I trust," Lyon said. "Mike Hussey was one of those people I was talking to, we put all the pros and cons down for Adelaide. The cricket structure down in SA has been fantastic, they've really given me the opportunity to become an international cricketer and I'll always pay them the highest amount of respect.

"SA and [coach] Darren Berry especially has been fantastic for me and I have so much respect for them and I really love what they've done for me. But I have the opportunity to put a really good family support network around me and moving back home, closer to my family so I can have that support off the field that will hopefully help keep my cricket moving forward."

That support network will also include MacGill, the former Test legspinner who recently took up a part-time role with Cricket Australia as a spin bowling mentor. Lyon, MacGill, and the prospective Australia wrist-spinner Fawad Ahmed are presently training together in a spin camp at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

"Stuart MacGill's record speaks for itself, he's an unbelievable talent and a past legend of Australian cricket," Lyon said. "To have a friendship with him and be able to talk cricket with him has been really good and I've learned a lot off him. I've got a lot of time for Stuart.

"I've really enjoyed being outside bowling and doing the little one percent things [in Brisbane]. My goal is to become more consistent with my bowling, to play my role in the Australian side better than before."

Lyon's move means the legspinner Adam Zampa, who the Redbacks have imported from New South Wales, could find himself a regular member of the South Australian side next summer. Zampa and Andrew McDonald, who requested a release from his Cricket Victoria contract to allow him to move to Adelaide, are the two interstate signings South Australia have confirmed in their 15-man squad for the 2013-14 season.

The allrounder Daniel Christian has been released from his contract and will join Victoria in what is effectively a straight swap for McDonald, while Cullen Bailey, Jake Haberfield and James Smith have all been dropped from the list. Berry said it was a shame to lose both Lyon and Christian but the team was pleased to welcome Zampa and McDonald.

"We were keen to keep both players and they were told that," Berry said of Lyon and Christian. "It is our job to develop Australian players and we have been able to help both Nathan and Daniel achieve that success.

"Adam Zampa broke into the first-class level last season and showed in a number of games that he is an exciting talent and future prospect for higher honours. The opportunity to work with Johan Botha will be a huge benefit to Zampa's career while bolstering the Redbacks' spinning stocks. Andrew McDonald is one of the best all-rounders in Australia. He gives us a great batting flexibility in our top order along with another medium pace option to complement our exciting bowling group."

South Australia have one place yet to fill on their contract list and they expected to finalise the squad by Thursday this week. Travis Head and Daniel Worrall have both been promoted to full contracts from the rookie list, while two new rookies - Alex Carey and Nick Winter - have been named.

South Australia Johan Botha, Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Peter George, Travis Head, Phillip Hughes (Cricket Australia contract), Michael Klinger, Tim Ludeman, Andrew McDonald, Joe Mennie, Gary Putland, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Daniel Worrall, Adam Zampa. Rookies Alex Carey, Elliot Opie, Alex Ross, Nick Winter.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AKS286 on April 26, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    @ Chris Sun on (April 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT) Fella thats not my word I'm repeating what Oz fans told us. Everyone knows including Oz fans that lyon is the worst spinner or medium pacer whatever he is in the history of Cric.

  • OzMongrel on April 25, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Here we go again. The Redbacks have taken both Daniel and Nathan and given them the opportunity to show their skills, and hence were picked for Australia (hopefully Phil Hughes doesn't get any ideas.) Mind you, Christian's recent record of smashed changeroom doors etc may have meant he needed the change. Nathan will love the SCG and it should go well for him in the NSW Shield setup when not playing for Australia. Best of luck to him, sincerely. Having said all of that, if SA can keep their bowlers fit and Tom Cooper can rediscover the form he was in two years ago, SA should continue to improve. Zampa and McDonald are strong recruits, and with players like Head and Carey coming through the Redbacks are actually starting to develop the beginnings of some depth to their squad.

  • on April 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    @AKS286, If Lyon is the World's Best Spinner in the History of Test Cricket, then why didn't Australia win in India? I have no doubt that Shane Warne is the Greatest of All Time in the History of Test Cricket. We don't have players like him anymore.

  • Chris_Howard on April 24, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    @Dashgar. Serious lack of talent at NSW? That's coz they're all off playing for Australia! The last Test in India had 9 guys from NSW in it. If ever CA lets Test cricketers play some domestic cricket, NSW would be unbeatable.

  • AKS286 on April 24, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge on (April 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT) Fella you are wrong with your irrelevant comment about lyon. He is not the Australia's no.1 spinner- He is the world's best spinner in the history of cricket. nicely time man!

  • AKS286 on April 24, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Spinner is a Pre-historic creature for Australia. After the fare-well of haddin as a VC Clarke will go up with lyon or M.Waste or cowan as VC. Lyon is the revolution of spin in the whole world. this legend spinner set an example and the cult of icon to the rookies & school cricketers that anyone can represent international cricket.

  • Dashgar on April 24, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    NSW seriously need this. Severe lack of talent on their books at the moment especially with Zampa leaving.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 24, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Silly move. New South Wales already has too many spinners. He would have been better to have moved to Western Australia or somewhere that has none.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    "Australia's No. 1 spin bowler Nathan Lyon". If ever a sentence needed reading twice it is this. Lyon is symbolic of the current sub-standard level of players which Australia is currently full of. Given that he has a reputation for barely turning the ball it was no surprise how some labelled him in India as a seamer, on a tour in which a head to comparison between Australia and their forthcoming Ashes rivals England (who had only just thrashed the same India which whitewashed Aus of course) was utterly depressing reading for Australian fans.

  • on April 24, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Well, quite a few spinners in Oz u have Cullen Bailey,Zampa and O'kEEFE.Agar is work in process

  • AKS286 on April 26, 2013, 7:11 GMT

    @ Chris Sun on (April 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT) Fella thats not my word I'm repeating what Oz fans told us. Everyone knows including Oz fans that lyon is the worst spinner or medium pacer whatever he is in the history of Cric.

  • OzMongrel on April 25, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Here we go again. The Redbacks have taken both Daniel and Nathan and given them the opportunity to show their skills, and hence were picked for Australia (hopefully Phil Hughes doesn't get any ideas.) Mind you, Christian's recent record of smashed changeroom doors etc may have meant he needed the change. Nathan will love the SCG and it should go well for him in the NSW Shield setup when not playing for Australia. Best of luck to him, sincerely. Having said all of that, if SA can keep their bowlers fit and Tom Cooper can rediscover the form he was in two years ago, SA should continue to improve. Zampa and McDonald are strong recruits, and with players like Head and Carey coming through the Redbacks are actually starting to develop the beginnings of some depth to their squad.

  • on April 25, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    @AKS286, If Lyon is the World's Best Spinner in the History of Test Cricket, then why didn't Australia win in India? I have no doubt that Shane Warne is the Greatest of All Time in the History of Test Cricket. We don't have players like him anymore.

  • Chris_Howard on April 24, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    @Dashgar. Serious lack of talent at NSW? That's coz they're all off playing for Australia! The last Test in India had 9 guys from NSW in it. If ever CA lets Test cricketers play some domestic cricket, NSW would be unbeatable.

  • AKS286 on April 24, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @ Front-Foot-Lunge on (April 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT) Fella you are wrong with your irrelevant comment about lyon. He is not the Australia's no.1 spinner- He is the world's best spinner in the history of cricket. nicely time man!

  • AKS286 on April 24, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Spinner is a Pre-historic creature for Australia. After the fare-well of haddin as a VC Clarke will go up with lyon or M.Waste or cowan as VC. Lyon is the revolution of spin in the whole world. this legend spinner set an example and the cult of icon to the rookies & school cricketers that anyone can represent international cricket.

  • Dashgar on April 24, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    NSW seriously need this. Severe lack of talent on their books at the moment especially with Zampa leaving.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 24, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Silly move. New South Wales already has too many spinners. He would have been better to have moved to Western Australia or somewhere that has none.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    "Australia's No. 1 spin bowler Nathan Lyon". If ever a sentence needed reading twice it is this. Lyon is symbolic of the current sub-standard level of players which Australia is currently full of. Given that he has a reputation for barely turning the ball it was no surprise how some labelled him in India as a seamer, on a tour in which a head to comparison between Australia and their forthcoming Ashes rivals England (who had only just thrashed the same India which whitewashed Aus of course) was utterly depressing reading for Australian fans.

  • on April 24, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Well, quite a few spinners in Oz u have Cullen Bailey,Zampa and O'kEEFE.Agar is work in process

  • Rowayton on April 24, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Quite right GregHowe. Here in Canberra Nathan Lyon took over 100 wickets for Wests and actually captained them to a first grade premiership. Didn't exactly appear from nowhere.

  • GregHowe on April 24, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    This article confirms the myth that has been peddled by a large number of cricket writers that Nathan Lyon was "plucked from obscurity from the Adelaide Oval groundstaff" and jettisoned into first class cricket. In reality, he had been playing grade cricket for Prospect for 18 months, with good success, as one of the best performed spinners in grade cricket, before his selection. And he played 2 or 3 seasons of A Grade cricket in the ACT before moving to SA. The way it has been continually reported one would think he had hardly played any cricket at all! It was a romantic and fanciful story originally, repeated by lazy journalists who didn't check the facts. His selection was a very good one by the SA selectors at the time, and confirms once again that grade cricket remains a strong nursery for first class cricket. Nathan is a tremendous loss to SA cricket, and has deservedly been picked as our sole spinner in the Ashes party, and will perform very well on that tour.

  • on April 24, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    I can't believe NSW let Zampa go. He is easily the most talented young leggie in Australia and is definitely a better bowler and all-round cricketer than Nathan Lyon. SA have got the better deal and Berry is a shrewd operator. I agree with Meety though - Lyon and O'Keefe should have been the two spinners in India.

  • Chris_P on April 24, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    @Meety, agree with Bailey who looked the goods years ago. I am looking forward to seeing SOK & Lyon bowl in tandem (when & Lyon isn't on test duty) on the SCG. This should allow Smith to concentrate even more on his batting improvement.

  • smokem on April 24, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Can't wait to see Lyon carrying out drinks for O'Keefe after he bags a fiver for NSW...

  • Meety on April 24, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Shame about Cullen Bailey. Interesting to see how a tandem spin combo of Lyon & SO'K would go? That is what should of been in India!

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  • Meety on April 24, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Shame about Cullen Bailey. Interesting to see how a tandem spin combo of Lyon & SO'K would go? That is what should of been in India!

  • smokem on April 24, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    Can't wait to see Lyon carrying out drinks for O'Keefe after he bags a fiver for NSW...

  • Chris_P on April 24, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    @Meety, agree with Bailey who looked the goods years ago. I am looking forward to seeing SOK & Lyon bowl in tandem (when & Lyon isn't on test duty) on the SCG. This should allow Smith to concentrate even more on his batting improvement.

  • on April 24, 2013, 4:05 GMT

    I can't believe NSW let Zampa go. He is easily the most talented young leggie in Australia and is definitely a better bowler and all-round cricketer than Nathan Lyon. SA have got the better deal and Berry is a shrewd operator. I agree with Meety though - Lyon and O'Keefe should have been the two spinners in India.

  • GregHowe on April 24, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    This article confirms the myth that has been peddled by a large number of cricket writers that Nathan Lyon was "plucked from obscurity from the Adelaide Oval groundstaff" and jettisoned into first class cricket. In reality, he had been playing grade cricket for Prospect for 18 months, with good success, as one of the best performed spinners in grade cricket, before his selection. And he played 2 or 3 seasons of A Grade cricket in the ACT before moving to SA. The way it has been continually reported one would think he had hardly played any cricket at all! It was a romantic and fanciful story originally, repeated by lazy journalists who didn't check the facts. His selection was a very good one by the SA selectors at the time, and confirms once again that grade cricket remains a strong nursery for first class cricket. Nathan is a tremendous loss to SA cricket, and has deservedly been picked as our sole spinner in the Ashes party, and will perform very well on that tour.

  • Rowayton on April 24, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Quite right GregHowe. Here in Canberra Nathan Lyon took over 100 wickets for Wests and actually captained them to a first grade premiership. Didn't exactly appear from nowhere.

  • on April 24, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    Well, quite a few spinners in Oz u have Cullen Bailey,Zampa and O'kEEFE.Agar is work in process

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on April 24, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    "Australia's No. 1 spin bowler Nathan Lyon". If ever a sentence needed reading twice it is this. Lyon is symbolic of the current sub-standard level of players which Australia is currently full of. Given that he has a reputation for barely turning the ball it was no surprise how some labelled him in India as a seamer, on a tour in which a head to comparison between Australia and their forthcoming Ashes rivals England (who had only just thrashed the same India which whitewashed Aus of course) was utterly depressing reading for Australian fans.

  • Ozcricketwriter on April 24, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Silly move. New South Wales already has too many spinners. He would have been better to have moved to Western Australia or somewhere that has none.

  • Dashgar on April 24, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    NSW seriously need this. Severe lack of talent on their books at the moment especially with Zampa leaving.