Lyon: I don't care if Stokes plays Ashes
Amid reports Ben Stokes may join England for the Ashes, Australia spinner Nathan Lyon said he was unfazed.
Australia spinner Nathan Lyon is unconcerned about whether all-rounder Ben Stokes joins England for the Ashes.
Stokes has not travelled with the squad and will not be considered for selection by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) until the conclusion of a police investigation following the player's arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in Bristol in September.
Amid reports the 26-year-old will eventually join the England squad in Australia, Lyon said that while he preferred to face the best, he is unfazed by whether Stokes plays or not.
"You want to play against the best players in the world. He's definitely, if not the best all-rounder in the world, [then one of]," Lyon told a news conference on Monday.
"It's disappointing that he's not here for the first Test but there's rumours that he's coming out.
"That's up to England and I don't really care what they do about that if I'm being brutally honest.
"He's a world-class player, you want to play against the best players in the world so if he comes out, we'll have our plans for him and we'll go out and play some cricket."
Australia made several surprise selections ahead of the first Test starting in Brisbane on Thursday, including naming Tim Paine.
Lyon welcomed the addition of the 32-year-old wicketkeeper, whose last Test appearance was in 2010.
"I'm definitely excited for Painey. I've played with Painey in a couple of Australia A tours and I love bowling to him," the off-spinner said.
"He's probably the best gloveman in the country so I'm looking forward to having that relationship with him again out in the middle and off the field.
"I'm a big fan of Tim Paine so I can't wait to see him go out there and hopefully take a few catches off me and a few stumpings."