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Sunday, February 25, 2024  
14 Shaban 1445  

Australian spin king Lyon warns England over Ashes boundary ploy

I’ve planned for that and I’m excited by that challenge,” Lyon said
Australia’s Nathan Lyon has no fear of short boundaries in England. AFP
Australia’s Nathan Lyon has no fear of short boundaries in England. AFP

Australian spin king Nathan Lyon dismissed concerns Monday that England could use short boundaries for the upcoming Ashes to supercharge their attacking “Bazball” strategy, saying it worked both ways.

The Times in London reported this month that the hosts had discussed bringing in the boundary ropes to the minimum 59 metres permitted by the International Cricket Council.

That would help England’s explosive top-order batsmen punish Australia’s bowling attack, spearheaded by Lyon, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

But 119-Test veteran Lyon pointed out that Australia’s batsmen would also profit.

“Travis Head’s pretty excited about the 59-metre boundaries as well,” Lyon told cricket.com.au.

Off-spinner Lyon, who has taken 482 Test wickets – 101 of them against old foes England – is relishing facing the fearless approach of captain Ben Stokes and the rest of England’s batsmen.

“I’ve planned for that and I’m excited by that challenge,” Lyon said.

“I want to challenge myself against the best players, and this brand of cricket they’re playing is certainly bringing the crowds back.

“I’ve been hit for six… it must be getting close to 300 (times) now for me.

“I’m not worried by it at all, I’m not scared by it. It provides a chance (of taking wickets) in my eyes.”

Since New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum took over as coach and Stokes as skipper, England have turbo-charged the way they play.

They have adopted an aggressive strategy to apply pressure and keep crowds entertained.

England head into the five-Test series, starting on June 16 at Edgbaston in Birmingham, having lost the 2021-22 Ashes in Australia 4-0.

Star England seamer Stuart Broad ruffled feathers last month when he claimed the result didn’t count in his mind because strict Covid rules made it impossible for the team to function normally during the tour.

But Lyon countered: “One hundred percent I’m counting that, that was a 4-0 victory to Australia.”

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