Nathan Lyon reveals how Steve Waugh helped him to recover from Leeds fumble in Ashes

The fumble costed Australia big as England ramped home to a one-wicket win at Headingley.

England needed 2 runs to win when Lyon missed the run-out chance at Headingley | Getty

With 20 wickets in 5 Tests, Nathan Lyon did his bit to help Australia retain the Ashes on English soil for the first time since 2001.  

However, the off-spinner could have led his team to a historic series win if not for a fumble in the third Test at Headingley.

Read Also: Tim Paine discloses secret injuries his team suffered for the urn

Minutes before Ben Stokes pulled off a 1-wicket heist for England with an astonishing knock of 135*, Lyon fumbled a throw to the bowler’s end and missed the opportunity to run out Jack Leach.

Almost three months after that heartbreaking defeat in Leeds which eventually resulted in the 2-2 scoreline of Ashes 2019, Lyon reflected on the misfielding and revealed how the legendary Steve Waugh helped him to get over the blunder.

“Steve Waugh sent me a message straight after,” he told “He just said 'Oh well, think about the positive – you're going to make a lot of money doing speaking gigs when you finish playing, you can put so much mayo on that story'.

"He found a way to break the ice, and made me look at it in a different way. It was one of those things. I could have been the quickest Australian sportsperson to go from villain to hero – in the space of about 3.2 seconds, which is about the time it took from me dropping the run-out to hitting Stokesy on the pad in front of middle stump.

"But that's cricket, isn't it."

Despite that demoralizing defeat, Australia didn’t lose heart and put up a fabulous performance in the fourth Test at Old Trafford to register an Ashes-retaining 185-run victory.

Josh Hazlewood trapped Craig Overton in front of the stumps towards the end, and Lyon describes the moment where the whole team was waiting for the third umpire’s decision which would decide the fate of the series.

"It was one of the most nerve-wracking things I've been involved in, even though we knew it was out," Lyon recalled. "I just remember that everyone was looking at the screen behind me, and I was facing the other way. As soon as it went red, if you look at the photos I've got Travis Head in my arms before he knew what was happening.

"It is one of the biggest highlights of my career, when we were able to stand up there as a team and lift up the urn at The Oval (after the final Test)."


By Salman Anjum - 07 Nov, 2019

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