Aussie star Chris Lynn ready to have a Blast with the Steelbacks

Chris Lynn is ready to deliver the goods for the Steelbacks in the Vitality Blast.

By Jeremy Casey
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 10:31 am
Chris Lynn on the attack while playing for Brisbane Heat
Chris Lynn on the attack while playing for Brisbane Heat

The Australian will make his first team debut when Northants begin their T20 campaign against the Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston next Thursday (May 26), but he is already settling into life at Wantage Road.

The 32-year-old opening batter arrived in the UK last weekend, and on Tuesday donned the blue and claret stripes for the first time to play for the second team in their T20 Central Group double header against Gloucestershire.

And he delivered immediately, scoring 48 and 73, peppering the boards with fours and clearing the ropes with a total of 11 sixes.

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Chris Lynn is looking forward to playing in the Vitality Blast

Playing for the seconds is not something Lynn needs or is contracted to do, but it is all part of the process of him being as good as he possibly can be.

"I want to score some runs and feel comfortable myself,” said Lynn, fresh from playing in those two T20 matches at the County Ground on Tuesday.

"I know it is second team, but you just respect every opportunity you get to get out in the middle, and I admit I did feel a bit of pressure having not played for a while.

"There is always that extra expectation on the overseas players to perform, but I have played enough cricket now to know you don't want to put any added pressure on, but it is just the way it goes. Every overseas player feels that."

Chris Lynn in action for Australia against Sri Lanka

Lynn has played T20 cricket all around the world.

He is the all-time leading run-scorer in the Big Bash and has starred in the Indian Premier League, the Pakistan Super League, the Caribbean Premier League and others, including The Hundred for Northern Superchargers last summer.

But he has never played in the Blast, and he admits it is something he can’t wait to experience. So how did the move to Northampton come about?

"Good question! It’s what managers are for I guess,” said Lynn, who hasn’t played since appearing for Brisbane Heat in the BBL in mid-January.

Chris Lynn is a star name in his native Australia for his batting exploits in the Big Bash League

"I had spoken to a couple of lads and Northants have been after an opening batsman for a couple of years now. They had found a little weakness there, so hopefully I can slot in and play my role.

"With social media and TV now, you know exactly who is playing where around the world, and I have fresh legs having not played since January.

"I think they saw that as a positive and it is a great opportunity for me.

"It will be my first time in the Blast, and I haven't spent a hell of a lot of time in England, so I am really excited.

Chris Lynn in action for the Northern Superchargers in The Hundred

"I haven't played a lot of cricket, so I want to get out, score some runs and get my name back out there and show that I am good enough to play at this level."

So why hasn’t Lynn played T20 in England previously?

"In previous years the Blast has dragged out a little bit longer, so the opportunity hasn't quite come up with other overseas tournaments going on,” he said.

"It is something I have always wanted to do, because cricket over here is completely different, as it is different in India. Playing there is a different challenge, and playing here is a different challenge as well.

"So I am happy to come here and learn, but not just learn, I want to be a leader among this youngish group at Northampton. There is some great young talent around."

As well as playing with the second team, Lynn met up with the first-team squad on Wednesday were in for training ahead of their LV= Insurance County Championship Division One clash with Kent, that starts on Thursday.

Chris Lynn has played T20 cricket all over world, including in the Caribbean Premier League for Trinbago Knight Riders

He is keen to get to know his new team-mates, and believes the chemistry of a squad is crucial to on-field success.

"That is the key to success in teams, gelling as a unit as quickly as possible,” said Lynn. "It is all well and good, if you lose the first couple of games, saying you are okay because it is a 14-game season, but the quicker you can gel the better.

"If you do that you can win your early games and then it comes down to a bit of luxury at the back end of the tournament if you do have those wins under your belt. That is why I have come over early, to get to know the guys and feel comfortable."

Another reason he is in Northampton early is to get acclimatised to English conditions.

So as somebody who has played all over the world, what is the difference in the UK?

"Well, I know that generally speaking the boundaries are slightly smaller," said the big-hitting right-hander with a smile. "So that means you can just play proper cricket shots without trying to hit it out of the ground.

"The difference is hard to explain. The wickets are flat, but they are a different type of flat to what I am used to in Australia. They are a little bit slower, the ball does swing a little bit more earlier on, and it is just slightly different.

"Overhead conditions also might play a role, so it is hard to put your finger on it, but it is just different.

"There is also so much talent around, there are quality spin bowlers, quality fast bowlers, and the batters here play different shots.

"I find that a lot of the guys play the tricky shots, so it is a different style of cricket, but all in all the fundamentals stay the same, and that is what I have said to the boys.

"We might not have the most star-studded line-up at Northants, but we have got to do the basics right, we have to earn the right to clear the fence. And if we can do that then we can take down any side."

So, is the Blast popular back in Australia?

"It's popular for the blokes who like staying up late or getting up early morning!,” said Lynn.

"It has probably only been shown the past couple of years which has been great, but nowadays you can watch cricket from wherever you want in the world, if you have the patience to do that.

"I quite often turn Fox Sports News on each morning to see who has done well, or just read the scorecards.

"There are a lot of tournaments, there is a lot of international cricket going on, and it is about finding out where the next best players are coming from.

"Is it from the Blast? Is the West Indians, the Sri Lankans? The guys from the Big Bash.

"There are a lot more players getting gigs now and becoming household names that actually don't play international cricket.

"I think that is great for the game."

Lynn will be back in action for Northants seconds on Thursday when they take on Somerset in a T20 Competition Central Group double header at Taunton.