Chris Lynn at centre of bombshell news in $8 million cricket drama

Chris Lynn, pictured here before a Brisbane Heat game in the BBL.
Chris Lynn looks on before a Brisbane Heat game in the BBL. (Photo by Chris Hyde - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images) (Cricket Australia via Getty Imag)

Chris Lynn has come to a landmark agreement with Cricket Australia to play in the BBL and a new T20 league in the UAE this summer.

Lynn had appeared ready to turn his back on the BBL and play in the UAE International League T20 (ILT20) after not being offered a new contract by the Brisbane Heat.

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However Cricket Australia announced on Thursday that Lynn had agreed to join the Adelaide Strikers for 11 games for the 2022/23 BBL season, before heading to the UAE.

The 32-year-old will be granted a 'No Objection Certificate' (NOC) from CA following the Strikers' clash with the Heat on January 14 to link up with the Adani-owned Gulf Giants franchise in the UAE league.

The deal marks a landmark moment for Australian cricket, with no player previously being granted an NOC while still being chased by Aussie teams.

"Cricket Australia welcomes the Adelaide Strikers’ signing of Chris Lynn, the highest run-scorer in KFC BBL history, for 11 out of 14 games in the upcoming KFC BBL|12 season," a CA spokesperson said.

"He will be released from 20 January to participate in UAE’s ILT20 competition from that date.

"Lynn does not hold a CA or State contract and has not done so since his last Queensland Cricket contract expired in June 2019. Each matter regarding release for overseas competitions is subject to the individual’s circumstances.

"Our guiding principle remains the prioritisation and protection of Australia’s domestic summer of cricket and the interests of the game overall."

It means Lynn will miss the last three games of the regular season, and the BBL finals should the Strikers make it.

"I'll be coming down to Adelaide fit and strong and ready to score a heap of runs and even more importantly, put on a show for the fans, who are the backbone of the Adelaide Strikers," Lynn said.

Chris Lynn, pictured here in action for the Brisbane Heat against the Sydney Sixers.
Chris Lynn in action for the Brisbane Heat against the Sydney Sixers. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images) (Matt Roberts via Getty Images)

"It always such a great atmosphere walking into Adelaide Oval, and not only that but walking over the bridge on game day, the atmosphere in the city is great.

"I'd like to thank Cricket Australia for how cooperative they've been as well as the Adani group from the Emirates, they've been really proactive in understanding the situation.

"Without those guys and CA working together it wouldn't be possible, I've got a lot of respect for those guys."

The news is a huge win for Cricket Australia and the BBL in the face of new T20 leagues in the UAE and South Africa.

CA has reportedly poured $8 million into the BBL this year in a bid to attract the biggest players from around the world amid flagging interest in the competition.

David Warner to end nine-year exile from BBL

The news about Lynn comes after David Warner agreed to spurn the riches on offer in the UAE and sign with the Sydney Thunder.

Warner announced on Sunday that his nine-year exile from the BBL was over after signing a two-year deal with the Thunder that will allow him to play for them when not representing Australia.

Warner had also been linked with a move to the UAE competition, but agreed to remain in Australia after his family said they wanted to see him play in the BBL.

His signature is a major coup for CA, given Warner has the potential to bring the kind of crowds the competition enjoyed at its peak.

David Warner, pictured here in action for the Sydney Thunder in the BBL in 2013.
David Warner in action for the Sydney Thunder in the BBL in 2013. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images) (Matt King via Getty Images)

The hard-hitting opener has played just three matches in the history of the BBL, scoring 101 not out for the Thunder in the tournament's inaugural game and playing his last in the 2013-14 season for Sydney Sixers.

Talk of Warner's return had also centred around the possible lifting of his lifetime team leadership ban, imposed by CA after the ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

The Thunder said on Sunday that no decision had been made on their captaincy after Usman Khawaja's move north to the Brisbane Heat.

"That hasn't been brought to the table (by the Thunder)," Warner said.

"It's upon the (Cricket Australia) board to reach out to me and open the doors and I can sit down and have an honest conversation with them.

"The board has changed since back in 2018 when all those sanctions were dealt. It will be great to have a conversation with them and see where we are at."

with AAP

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