Nathan Lyon agrees red-ball contract with Hampshire for 2020 season

Hampshire have signed Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon for next year’s Specsavers County Championship.

Last year’s third-placed finishers have landed the 31-year-old on a red-ball contract for the 2020 season, further strengthening a slow-bowling attack that already includes England internationals Liam Dawson and Mason Crane.

Lyon sits third on his country’s all-time wicket-taker list in Test cricket, with 363 scalps in 91 appearances.

That haul includes 20 in this summer’s drawn Ashes campaign, though his contribution to that campaign is perhaps better remembered for a botched run out of Jack Leach during the dramatic finale of the Headingley Test.

Despite his status as a long-term antagonist of England sides, and a recent favourite for heckling from the terraces, his pedigree with ball in hand means he is likely to be welcomed by fans on the south coast.

Lyon told Hampshire’s official app: “I love playing cricket in England no doubt will enjoy the summer with the Hampshire players, coaches, members and supporters. We will all be focused on winning the championship in 2020 – I can’t wait.”

Director of cricket Giles White hailed the signing as a coup for the county.

“Nathan is a really high-class spinner and we identified him in the summer as someone who would be a great addition to our championship side. He has a real appetite for county cricket and is keen to be part of what we’re trying to do here. We’re delighted to secure his signature.”

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