The Case for Lyon to Continue Test Cricket Well into His 40s

Lyon Joins Lancashire, Australia Turn Spinner And T20 Max, Sports World Keeps Pace

Nathan Lyon is making moves to join James Anderson at Lancashire next year. It wouldn’t be surprising if the Australian spinner plays Test cricket into his 40s, like his new county teammate. Lyon is just five wickets away from becoming only the eighth player in Test cricket history to reach the 500 milestone. Despite turning 36 recently, there’s potential for him to keep playing for another four or five years. The way his Ashes campaign ended with a torn calf at Lord’s could be the motivation for another trip to the UK in 2027. Anderson has managed to extend his Test career past his 41st birthday, enduring more physical strain as an English seamer. Similarly, Glenn Maxwell could continue in the T20 arena. While aging players need to be refreshed, Lyon and Maxwell could be strategic in extending their careers if their form remains strong. Notably, NFL star Tom Brady and LeBron James are modern examples of athletes dominating past their 40th birthday with no sign of slowing down.

Lyon is recognized as the best Test spinner in the world, tied with Kagiso Rabada for most wickets in 2022, and second behind Ravichandran Ashwin this year. While Todd Murphy and Tanveer Sangha are the heir apparents as spinners, they still are young. With no need for a second spinner until the tour of Sri Lanka in early 2025, the selectors will likely keep Lyon as the main spinner.

Lyon’s fitness and good physical shape make another five years at the top not unrealistic. Australia has had several spinners who were still going strong well into their 30s. It’s hard to see Lyon lasting that long, but history proves it’s possible.