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Mitch might consider return: Lyon

12 January 2017

Champion fast bowler has been firing on all cylinders in BBL|06

Test off-spinner Nathan Lyon believes Perth Scorchers spearhead Mitchell Johnson might consider coming out of international retirement if Australia’s selectors put in a call to the tearaway for the T20 series against Sri Lanka next month.

But Lyon concedes the 35-year-old probably wouldn’t be keen to resume his career for Australia that ended in November 2015 on his home turf of the WACA Ground.

"It’s not the worst shout," Lyon told the Unplayable Podcast when asked if he could see Johnson returning to the national setup for February’s three-match T20 international series against Sri Lanka.

"I know Mitch probably won’t want to do it.

"I’m sure if he got asked to come out of retirement he might consider it.

"He’s a world-class superstar. He’s one of my very good mates and it’s good to see him back playing."

Johnson has been back to his intimidating best in his debut season in the KFC Big Bash League, bowling at high speed to claim seven wickets in five matches for the table-topping Scorchers.

While Steve Smith and the Test team prepare to tackle India in February, Australia’s T20 outfit will host Sri Lanka in Melbourne, Geelong and Adelaide with a team comprised of the best performing players from BBL|06.

The inexperienced line-up could do with the vast knowledge of Johnson, who is the second-highest wicket-taker for Australia in T20I cricket and has won the Indian Premier League with Mumbai Indians in 2013 alongside champion Ricky Ponting, who will be with the team as an assistant coach.

Watson (L) and Johnson in the 2010 World T20 squad // Getty
Watson (L) and Johnson in the 2010 World T20 squad // Getty


Frontline fast bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are expected to be with the Test team in India, opening up a slot for Johnson to return and help pass on his experiences of playing at the highest level.

Johnson may not be the only recently retired great to warrant a recall, as fellow veterans Brad Haddin and Shane Watson continue to deliver for their respective clubs.

The pair will square off against each other on Saturday in the second Sydney derby at the SCG, and Lyon says he’s enjoying seeing the "old fellas running around".

They’ve been great for Australian cricket, they’re Australian cricket legends so (every) chance the Australian public can watch those boys play (the better)," Lyon said.

"And on the other hand, the younger guys, if they can see and learn off the older guys who have played the game so well for Australia, then Cricket Australia is heading in the right direction I believe."      

About the Writer

 @samuelfez
@samuelfez

Sam Ferris is a Sydney-based journalist for cricket.com.au. He started in 2011 as a Big Bash League correspondent and continues to monitor the domestic scene and national sides closely.

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