Jarryd Lyons’ claim to cricket’s newest hero

Jarryd LyonsAshton Agar

 

In a week where Ashton Agar’s achievements in the opening Ashes test enthralled a nation, one young AFL player can lay claim to having once led him onto a cricket field.

Adelaide forward Jarryd Lyons, who kicked four goals in Friday night’s loss to Collingwood, captained Agar in their school cricket team at De La Salle College in Melbourne.

“We went to school together; we actually won a premiership together in year 12 at ACC (Associated Catholic Colleges) level in 2011,” Lyons toldafl.com.au.

“I was his captain in that premiership. I tried to bring him on to bowl whenever I could, and he’d always take wickets for us. I knew he’d be a good player, but I definitely didn’t expect him to get up there that quick.”

The 20-year-old said he was glued to the television during Thursday night’s play, where Agar narrowly failed to become the first No.11 in test cricket history to score a century in a stunning debut. While he knew his former schoolmate was a good player, didn’t expect him to don the baggy green, at least not this early.

“Yeah I stayed up, probably a little too late in the end, but he’s a good young kid and totally deserves all the success,” Lyons said.

“As a young kid he was sort of your run-of-the-mill type player, but when he was about 16-17 years old he started bowling off-spin and started bowling really well.

“He’s always been a good batsman, he used to bat at three, four or five. So when I saw him batting at 11, that was a bit different. But good on him.”

The two also squared off against each other in local cricket, where Lyons played for Omega Cricket Club in Moorabbin while Agar played for McKinnon Cricket Club. And while Agar can claim bragging rights at the moment for his feats at Trent Bridge, Lyons’ efforts on Friday night should not be ignored.

After being drafted at pick 61 in 2010, the wiry midfielder/forward has managed only eight games since, kicking one goal.

He seized the opportunity given to him by coach Brenton Sanderson on Friday, and will hope to nail down a regular spot in the starting 22.

Lyons said he was “disappointed” with Friday night’s result and felt his side “let themselves down” late in the game.

But at least he’ll take some solace in the fact that he once captained Ashton Agar.

For: Adelaidefc.com.au