By Liam Flanagan
Last year Bernard Tomic collectively pissed off the entire country when he sat in front of Mel Doyle on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night and admitted that he only played tennis for the money.
“Buying cars [worth] half a million dollars to a million dollars, it’s my choice and living in all these lavish houses and property around the world it’s my choice. It’s something I’ve worked for and I’ve earnt," he said.
You could not question Tomic’s honesty but it was tough to swallow his words as he failed to stop that smug grin from bursting onto his face and into our living rooms. It was indigestible honesty.
The "baggy green" is what all Australian cricketers will tell you is the pinnacle of the sport. They grow up dreaming of one day receiving the most iconic item of headwear in Australian sport. It’s what we the general public expect them to say and maybe it’s what some of those cricketers think they’re meant to say.
And then there’s Chris Lynn. As dynamic a batsman as we’ve seen in the Big Bash, at 27 years of age many could argue that Lynn has both the time and the requisite cricketing ability to perhaps wear a baggy green.
Except: "This year I handed back my Queensland Bulls contract.”
“I gave it back to pursue twenty-twenty cricket," he told The Rush Hour with MG. "I told them to use that money on a young kid coming through who desires to play Test match cricket.
"That young bloke deserves that opportunity, he can train every day, I’m going to be overseas. I want to play twenty-twenty cricket in Bangladesh, Caribbean, India, Dubai and around the world.”
Lynn’s decision is more than a line in the sand of his cricket career. He’s blown up the beach.
He continued: “Ever since my best mate Phil Hughes passed away… what do you want out of life? I ask myself that every day. It doesn’t make me a better person if I’ve got that baggy green on the wall."
An honest statement that goes against everything we are taught to think about cricket in Australia. A man who hits the ball harder and further than possibly anyone we have seen in Australian cricket has decided he does not need a baggy green cap.
Given Lynn has just been purchased for $1.86 million to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders in this years’ Indian Premier League, the financial reasons behind his decision are obvious.
“I know we play sport because we love it but it is a life changing moment. People say you’re in it for the money, well yeah that’s my job," he explained.
This sort of comment could momentarily have Chris Lynn becoming a citizen of Bernard Tomic town - until he elaborated on his real motivations.
“I’m really comfortable with the decision I’ve made playing twenty-twenty cricket. I get to see my family more, I get to see my mates more and to me that’s more important," he added.
And just like that the comparisons with Tomic start to fade in the rear view mirror. Lynn simply seems to have found that work life balance most every day Australians crave.
“As long as you keep your feet on the ground and respect the people around you who have helped you out then I can’t see why you can’t enjoy that success," Lynn said.
And there’s the kicker, respect. The consideration of his fellow Queenslander who might’ve missed out if he’d simply held onto his Bulls contract for two more years.
The self-awareness to understand what he truly wants out of his life as a cricketer.
And the acknowledgement that nothing he’s achieved has been 100 per cent off his own “bat”. This is honesty that we should all be able to not only swallow but eat up and ask for seconds.
Hear Chris Lynn's full chat:
You can hear Liam on The Rush Hour with MG, weeknights from 6pm on Triple M 104.9 or by downloading the Triple M app.