How 'flat' Lynn found the love to put his name back in lights

Chris Lynn had a point to prove during the offseason, revealing he rediscovered his love for the game as he prepares to embark on a new phase of his career in a different shade of blue

Chris Lynn admits he had a point to prove this offseason, but it wasn't to the Brisbane Heat.

After a well-publicised exit in May from the only Big Bash club he'd called home over the 11 seasons of the competition, the KFC BBL's highest run-scorer of all-time reveals he felt "flat" following two Covid seasons spent in quarantine bubbles.

With his first child on the way in August, Lynn entered his winter sortie with Northamptonshire with one thing top of his mind: "proving to the world that I'm still good enough to play at this level".

And prove it he did, peeling off 516 runs striking at 159.25 in the T20 Blast with two centuries and 29 sixes, including one into an English backyard.

"I didn't play any cricket after the Big Bash, so the onus was (on me) to score runs and put my name back up in lights again," Lynn told cricket.com.au's Unplayable Podcast ahead of his first match for new club the Adelaide Strikers tonight.

"It was a bit of out of sight, out of mind type (situation) for a bit there.

"I actually found my love for the game again. I felt I was quite flat after a couple of Covid years and all the quarantines; I'm not the only one who was in that boat, and some handled it differently, but you come out the other side and I'm back enjoying the game.

"It's amazing, funny things happen when you enjoy the game, your bad days aren't that bad.

"(There's) a bit of realisation, a bit of gratitude and believe it or not, you actually perform better too when you're having fun, so that's a big key for me this Big Bash is to get around the lads."

Tonight marks the start of a new era for the 32-year-old, albeit in a different shade of blue, but he says he enters the new phase of his career with no expectations other than giving back to the club that gave him a Big Bash lifeline.

"It means a lot to get an opportunity to play down here," said Lynn.

"I just really love the communication from Tim Nielsen (SACA General Manager of High Performance) and Dizzy (Jason) Gillespie.

"(They) gave me a really warm welcoming into the group and obviously yes I'm batter and I'd love to score runs but (there was) no expectations, it was just come down and do what I've been doing.

"So it made me feel really comfortable from the get go and the fact that I'm only here for the 11 games, I've got to give Tim, Dizzy, Cricket Australia, Nick Hockley and Andy Flower from the Emirates side, everyone worked together to come to a really positive outcome … so I'm really happy with that result.

"Now it's time for me to give back to the Adelaide Strikers for giving me this opportunity and hopefully score plenty of runs without putting too much pressure on myself.

"The game of cricket you're going to have more bad days and good days, so the reality is you've got to get around your own success but more importantly, get around your teammates success."

Chris Lynn launches Shaun Tait out of the Gabba

It didn't take long for the offers to come rolling in once he got going during the northern summer as he gave English fans a taste of what those at the Heat had grown so accustomed to.

The first approach was from the UAE's International League T20 tournament who jumped at the opportunity to sign the former Bash Brother – who at that stage didn't have any commitments in the January window – as a marquee for their inaugural season.

"I actually didn't have a Big Bash contract at the time so that was my priority to play the ILT20 and it's all about timing and opportunity and that's when I was scoring runs at Northants and making the most of that," said Lynn.

"And once you get on a roll, you just want to make sure you continue that roll for as long as possible.

"It was a point to prove but it wasn't about the exit from the Heat, it was about proving to the world that I'm still good enough to play at this level.

"That's when the Big Bash offer came in and when you've already signed a deal it gets a little bit tricky, but I'm really grateful for the communication through Tim Nielsen, Nick Hockley and Andy Flower to come to a really good decision.

"At the end of the day, I know when I was a youngster, I wanted to play cricket for Australia.

"But the reality is I'm not 22 anymore, I'm 32, so you do have to look after number one, but in saying that, as soon as you get in a new environment like the Strikers, you do put the team first."

The right-hander's homecoming to the Gabba against the Heat on December 23 is being billed as one of the showdowns of the tournament, but Lynn says he doesn't hold any grudges against his former side.

"There's no redemption at all to be honest," he said.

"I'm just looking forward to getting back to the Gabba, obviously it's been home for 15 years, so I love playing there and I get to play in front of my family and mates.

Lynn hammers Hilfenhaus for five consecutive sixes

"I'd love to win, don't get me wrong, but that's not the be all and end all.

"I'd love to get one over Brisbane and have bragging rights but just to come home and play at the Gabba that's something special in itself."

Lynn will return to Northants next winter with "unfinished business" on his mind and he's also put his name in the pot for the Indian Premier League auction on December 23, a competition where he boasts quite an impressive record with an average of 34 striking at 140.48 from 42 matches.

"Last year was the first time in about 10 years I haven't been involved in the IPL," he said.

"I haven't played that many games over those 10 years, but it's obviously an awesome tournament to be part of.

"If I don't get picked up it's not the end of the world but I feel like I'm striking the ball nicely and I still think I can add value to a couple of teams there.

"If I'm not picked up there's the PSL (Pakistan Super League), I'm back at Northants again next year, there's so much cricket around the world at the moment that if you do make most of the opportunity, more opportunities are on the horizon.

"And now with a little four-month-old girl, the family is on tour so I get to relax with the family and I don't have to FaceTime every day on the other side of the world, so that's an added bonus."

Strikers squad v Sixers: Wes Agar, Jordan Buckingham, Colin de Grandhomme, Adam Hose, Thomas Kelly, Rashid Khan, Chris Lynn, Ben Manenti, Harry Nielsen (wk), Matt Short, Peter Siddle (c), Henry Thornton, Jake Weatherald

Sixers squad v Strikers: Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Dan Christian, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Moises Henriques (c), Daniel Hughes, Josh Kann, Hayden Kerr, Todd Murphy, Izharulhaq Naveed, Stephen O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, James Vince