A shattered Nathan Lyon says he knew his Ashes were over the moment he clutched at his torn right calf muscle and limped off the field in the second Test at Lord’s.
Speaking for the first time since returning to Australia, Lyon admitted he had to hide away during the tense final day at Lord’s and had struggled to watch Test cricket since.
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He also joked that players had claimed his run of consecutive Tests now sat at 99.5 rather than 100, given he did not bowl after his first spell at Lord’s.
Australia had publicly maintained some hope during the Test that Lyon would play on in the series, but the 36-year-old said he knew immediately his Ashes were over after he sprinted in from the boundary to try to take a catch.
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“I went to take off and I just heard this little gun shot and just felt it go straight away. I knew straight away my series was done there and then,” Lyon told the Willow Talk Cricket podcast.
Nathan Lyon is helped from the field after injuring his calf. Credit: Getty Images
“I was confident I would have caught that catch if I was able to push off my right foot. I remember Uzzie (Khawaja) running over saying ‘what’s up? You got a cramp?’
“And I said ‘nup, I’ve just blown my calf to bits’. The emotions set in then — I sat in the changerooms for the next three-and-a-half days.”
Lyon is adamant the injury will not mark the end of his career and remains confident he will play in the first Test of the home summer against Pakistan in December.
He is also confident his decision to bat at Lord’s with the torn calf has not put that comeback in doubt, after he and Mitchell Starc added 15 runs for the last wicket.
Nathan Lyon came out to bat despite struggling with a calf injury. Credit: AP
Lyon said he had to win over his partner Emma, medical staff and captain Pat Cummins to return to the field to bat.
“Em just looked at me and said ‘you are an absolute idiot. I’m helping you in the shower and everything like that, you’re an idiot’, Lyon recalled.
“I went to the ground, spoke to the medical team in the morning, they said ‘nah, you’re not batting’.
“So I went to Pat (Cummins) and Pat said ‘you’re not batting, Gaz, get it out of your head’.
“I went to (coach Andrew McDonald) and said ‘I am batting’. He goes ‘good, I’m thinking the same thing’.
“I knew the risks. If it was a minor tear I probably wouldn’t have gone out … But I knew I was out for the next 10 to 12 weeks.”
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