'Goosebumps': Aussie great retells 'proudest moment' of career

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter
Nathan Lyon shows his emotions as he presents Travis Head of Australia with his Baggy Green cap during day one of the First Test match. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Nathan Lyon may have taken 390 wickets for Australia and has achieved an incredible amount during his time wearing the baggy green, but one of his proudest moments in cricket was a pledge with teammate and friend Travis Head.

Former Australian captain Mark Taylor brought in the tradition of the ceremonial baggy green handover during the end of his reign and it was Head’s first match that saw Lyon break down in tears.

Friends off the field, Head said Lyon had always helped him strive forward and achieve his goal to play for the national team.

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While tradition often dictates a former Aussie cricket great will return to present the baggy green to the debutant, it was Lyon’s guidance that prompted Head to break tradition.

“At that moment of handing travis his baggy green it is one of the proudest moments of my career. “One of the more emotional moments as well,” Lyon told Yahoo Sport Australia.

“It was pretty interesting, three days before it was even announced, he sat on the bus next to me and said ‘if i get picked I am going to ask you to present the baggy green.’”

“I said ‘mate, get stuffed’ and in my eyes you always want an Australian cricket legends to hand out the baggy green.

“And I didn’t feel like I deserved that moment. But when Justin Langer came up to me to present it, because Travis wanted it, it made it even more special.”

‘Most nervous I have been’: Lyon

During the Amazon documentary, The Test, the footage behind the scenes captures Lyon overcome with emotion as he presents Head with the cap.

In his speech, he labelled Head "the little brother I never had”, as he watched Lyon strive for greatness ever since he made his debut for South Australia in 2012.

Travis Head of Australia and Nathan Lyon celebrate after combining to take the wicket o Henry Nicholls of New Zealand during day four of the First Test match in the series between Australia and New Zealand at Optus Stadium on December 15, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

“There is a lot of talk in this documentary that I get pretty nervous. But that was probably the most nervous I have ever been,” Lyon told Yahoo Sport Australia.

“You want to make it special, you only get one baggy green and you only get one opportunity to present it.

“I am getting goosebumps just thinking about it now.”

Head’s debut came after the sandpaper scandal that rocked Australian cricket.

Introduced to the team during the series against Pakistan he endured a rough start to his career, caught at second slip for a duck.

But Head’s career-defining moment would follow after his memorable 75-run partnership with Usman Khawaja helped Australia hold on to a famous draw on the last day of play after being set a near-impossible target.

Head helped Australia survive 139.5 overs for Australia, which kick-started his career.

Head has played 17 Test matches for Australia, scoring two centuries with an average of 41.96.

The Test: A New Era for Australia's Team is available to stream now on Amazon Prime Video