The Chronicle

We owe cricket: Lyon’s plea to save the Ashes


AS ENGLISH captain Joe Root mulled over his uncertain Ashes plans, Nathan Lyon has urged players to remember their debt to the game.

Root says that he is desperate to play in this winter’s Ashes but refused to guarantee he would lead his team to Australia given the uncertaint­ies about the Covid restrictio­ns that will be imposed on the touring squad.

Players and team management have yet to learn the exact conditions under which the five-Test series will take place, with those who have young families particular­ly concerned about the potentiall­y stringent rules.

Root has not committed fully to leading the team in the 10-week tour, saying that no one could give any guarantees until they had been fully briefed by England management this week.

“I feel it’s so hard to make a definite decision until you know,” the 30-year-old captain said. “The position I’m at in my career, it could be the last opportunit­y I get to go, so of course it’s something you’re desperate to do, desperate to hopefully make history over there and be part of something very special.”

Lyon is about to head into two weeks of hard quarantine in Adelaide with the NSW side next week, which is likely to be equally or even more demanding than the restrictio­ns on England when they land in Queensland.

He told Fox Cricket’s Road to the Ashes podcast he would have had no second thoughts about accepting the quarantine conditions England were facing if the situation was reversed.

“I can understand it (quarantine concerns) but as profession­al athletes and cricketers we are so lucky in what we do … it comes upon us to give back to the game that has given us so much,’’ Lyon told the podcast. “I would not have a doubt in coming out myself, especially being an Ashes. They are the type of series which can make someone’s career.

“Look at Marnus (Labuschagn­e) and the way he came out in the second Test on the last Ashes tour. Now look at him. He is walking around calling himself the GOAT.

“It can wear you down but that is a small price to pay in my eyes but that is probably a selfish opinion. I’m not going to the IPL. I have been home for eight months. I am itching to get out there.’’

 ?? ?? Off-spinner Nathan Lyon.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

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