Nathan Lyon faces a winter at home for the first time in his career


The offspinner won’t head to Hampshire in the off-season but still holds out hope of a WTC final

There aren’t many firsts left in professional cricket for Nathan Lyon.

But after bringing up 100 Tests against India he faces the prospect of a full five-month pre-season in Australia ahead of next year’s Ashes for the first time in his professional career.

Lyon had the opportunity to head to Hampshire for the 2021 County Championship season after his contract was cancelled for 2020 but he turned down the offer due to uncertainty over the pandemic.

If Australia miss out on the World Test Championship final in June, then they won’t play Test cricket again until late in the year with the Ashes or possibily a match against Afghanistan. Australia have a limited-overs tour of the West Indies and the T20 World Cup in India later in the year, but Lyon hasn’t played an ODI since the 2019 World Cup and a T20I since 2018, although he was part of the squad that travelled to England for the limited-overs tour last year.

Lyon does still aspire to be part of Australia’s limited-overs teams but should he not be selected for any tour he could spend the entire winter at home for the first time since his professional debut in 2011.

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