The Ashes 2013-14 January 6, 2014

Lyon behind public rendition of team song


'I knew I'd get my place back' - Lyon

It was not exactly surprising that Australia hurtled inexorably to a three-day finish in Sydney to complete their Ashes clean sweep, but what was unexpected was the public singing of the team song barely minutes after the final wicket fell. So hurried was the huddle and raucous rendition that Channel Nine didn't even have time to consider bleeping out the penultimate word.

Nathan Lyon might appear the shyest of the eight custodians of the team song, but he is the one who has brought "Underneath the Southern Cross I Stand" to the public. After securing the Ashes in Perth, the squad sang the song on the WACA pitch several hours after the match finished; in Sydney they did it with cameras around them. It wasn't a PR stunt, but rather a letting out of all the feeling that had built up in this squad over the past ten Ashes Tests.

"That was pretty emotional to beat those guys 5-0, it was something we were all pretty proud of," Lyon said. "I was speaking to Brad Haddin, who I'm pretty close with in the side, and we thought it would be a good idea. It hasn't been done before. There was a lot of emotion running high and we thought it was a great time. I'll give you the tip, it wasn't the only time we sung the song. We got all the coaching staff and all the important people around us to be part of it [later] as well."

They sung it more than once; they sung it more than twice. And who could blame them? Lyon took over as leader of the song when Michael Hussey retired in January. It was not until ten Tests later that an opportunity to celebrate arose. A 4-0 defeat in India and a 3-0 loss in England made it all the sweeter when success came at the Gabba.

"It was a tough start to 2013," Lyon said. "Throughout those nine Tests [in India and England] it wasn't the best thing but we had the feeling that something special was building up and it was great to get the result in the Australian summer. Credit to Darren Lehmann and Michael Clarke, they've really brought us close together. It's like a family out there and it's an unbelievable team to be a part of.

"It's the best bowling attack that I'll ever play in. To have the backing of Michael Clarke, the skipper, but then you've got Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson, it's fantastic. We work well together and we don't mind who takes the wickets, as long as we're doing the right things by each other and helping each other out, we'll keep going well."

The Australia attack took all 100 possible England wickets throughout the five Tests, something Australia have never before achieved in a five-Test Ashes series. Lyon might have been overshadowed by the fast men, Mitchell Johnson in particular, but he certainly played his part in the triumph by claiming 19 wickets at 29.36.

"Quicks certainly dominated this series and I was lucky enough to play a little bit of a role in hopefully helping those guys take some wickets as well," he said. "I was lucky enough to be able to part of a great team and it's something I'm pretty proud about.

"I feel really confident in my own skill set right now. The way they're coming out you can't ask for any more. There's still a lot of work to do and a lot of places I want to go."

South Africa in February-March is one such place. But on Monday, it was the furthest thing from his mind.

"Not right now," he said when asked if he had one eye on the South African series. "I'm trying to recover and keep celebrating for a couple more days."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • James on January 11, 2014, 3:52 GMT

    Most sporting teams at a professional or international level have a song to recognize success. This is a cherished moment that is normally held in the sanctum of the dressing room. The cricket media really seems to harp on about Australia and their team song. I would like to hear about all the other nations and their traditions or victory songs.

  • Patrick on January 8, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    @Poon Hoon, sure, I think it goes "show me the way to go home..."

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2014, 7:42 GMT

    do England have a team song?

  • glen on January 7, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    That's what it's all about. TEAMWORK. They sound like a team, they look like a team and they are performing like a team. Smiles everywhere. They will beat South Africa at home.

  • Cameron on January 7, 2014, 8:58 GMT

    Toughen up eh, RednWhiteArmy? Sounds like just the elixir for a soundly thrashed bunch of English cricketers we've all just watched implode over the last seven weeks. Walked right in to that one...

  • Andrew on January 7, 2014, 7:52 GMT

    What a great tradition the Aussie team song is. And what a nice bunch of blokes they are. Not a bad apple in the whole barrel. The best in the world by far. We are all so privileged to share this world with them.

  • James on January 7, 2014, 7:30 GMT

    Stand up if you're 5 nil up, stand up if your five nil up.

  • Sean on January 7, 2014, 2:03 GMT

    Why are the aussies so precious over England's players doing what they did to the oval pitch? If it was done at the SCG i could see your point, but cmon. Toughen up.

  • S on January 7, 2014, 0:43 GMT

    @dabbadubba, they'll have start winning first before learning how to celebrate. I don't see the former happening for a while now.

  • Brent on January 6, 2014, 23:30 GMT

    I thought it was great, although the "5-nil" song they let out after receiving the replica trophy wasn't the most humble gesture.

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