Australia cricketers visit Old Trafford before Ashes

Friday 16 June 2023 13:52

Manchester United welcomed several members of the Australia cricket team to Old Trafford recently, ahead of this summer’s Ashes series.

Alex Carey, Marcus Harris, Josh Inglis, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh and Todd Murphy were all in attendance at the Theatre of Dreams last month, as the Reds defeated Fulham 2-1 on the final day of the Premier League season.

The players are part of the Australian squad here in the UK for the 2023 edition of the iconic sporting series – against England – in which the first of five matches starts today (16 June).

The players received United shirts that featured their Australia squad numbers on the back.

During their day out in M16, spin-bowler Lyon (third from the left in the image above) took some time out for a chat with us, upon his first visit to our home ground.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said, during a conversation in the press-conference room at Old Trafford.

“It's probably a bucket-list item for a lot of Australian sports fans. 

“It's just amazing to be here and just to be out there having a look at the amazing stadium. It's pretty amazing.”

While the Theatre of Dreams was a new setting for Lyon, he isn’t a complete stranger to M16, having previously represented his nation just over the road at Emirates Old Trafford cricket ground.

The home of Lancashire County Cricket Club was the venue in which the 35-year-old made his Ashes debut back in 2013, and the location where he helped his nation retain the famous urn trophy in a 2019 victory, during their last visit to English soil for a Test series.

The fourth match of this year’s five-game battle is set to take place at the historic stadium in July which, like its football namesake, is easy to admire, according to Lyon.
Ashes cricket will be played a stone's throw away from the Theatre of Dreams again next month.
“It's a little bit different [to the football ground]. It's obviously a lot different being in the crowd, watching the guys go about the business,” he added.

“But it’s always a very good atmosphere [at Old Trafford cricket ground]. The match there in 2019 had an incredible atmosphere.

“It's just purely a brilliant place to play cricket, to be honest. And that's England in general. It's just amazing to be here, it's just amazing country. [I’m] very lucky.”
During the visit to our home stadium, Lyon and co also had the opportunity to meet Sir Alex Ferguson and tap into his knowledge ahead of a big summer of cricket.

Our legendary former boss knows a fair thing or two about the biggest stages in football and may have offered some tips for performing at the top level in sport prior to the series, which Nathan didn’t understate the significance of when speaking to us.

“To be honest, it's probably the pinnacle for any Australian and English cricketers to play an Ashes series in Australia or England,” he explained.

“So, as Australian cricketer, to be here, it's special. 

“We understand how big a challenge it is. But we're coming here to win and take the Ashes back.”