WORCESTERSHIRE have swooped to sign Australian spinner Nathan Lyon as a short-term replacement for Champions Trophy bound John Hastings.
The all-rounder was picked by Australia for the tournament which kicks off on June 1 and Pears director of cricket Steve Rhodes has moved quickly to secure the services of the 29-year-old.
Lyon will be at New Road for the duration of Australia’s stay in the tournament meaning he could represent the Pears in four County Championship games and the latter stages of the Royal London One Day Cup.
The spinner has taken 247 wickets in 67 Tests including five wickets or more in an innings on nine occasions.
He currently stands as Australia’s greatest Test finger spinner and Australia’s third greatest Test spinner wicket taker of all time.
Lyon achieved his career best figures during the recent series in India when he took 8-50 in Bengaluru.
Although not selected in the Champions Trophy squad, Lyon has played 13 one day internationals for his country and the New South Wales born player represented the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash this winter.
Lyon will be the latest in a long line of Australian players to represent the county including Tom Moody, Glenn McGrath, Andy Bichel, Phil Hughes, Steve Smith and Hastings.
Rhodes expressed his delight at the signing and said the club had replaced one top international with another.
“He is the number one international spinner in Australia at the moment and just had recent success in India.
“Nathan is a very respected off spinner and we are looking forward to him joining us and replacing John for the time he is away,” he added.
Rhodes hailed the signing as a coup as many of the world’s top players involved in the Champions Trophy.
“Nathan has never played county cricket and I really try to get overseas players who are looking for a challenge and are hungry to succeed.
“He is a great competitor and to get someone like Nathan is really important for Worcestershire,” he added.
Rhodes also believes the county’s young spinners in George Rhodes and Ben Twohig will benefit from working with Lyon in the same as they did with New Zealander Mitchell Santner last summer.