Lyon has always had an instant impact when he returns from the international slog. The first ODI against India is not until the start of March.

“They will make a call at the end of this Test match and once they’ve had a look at all his loads, they’ll let us know, but they said they’re keen to work with us,” Hawkins told The Herald.


“There is a long winter coming up, there’s the white-ball series in India, the World Cup and Ashes.

“He always has a good time when he’s back here, it’s a chilled environment, with international cricket there comes an awful amount of pressure, especially this summer, so this is a bit of an opportunity to come back and play in front of our home fans – and hopefully at the SCG [in the finals].”

Curran has been brilliant for the Sixers but must depart on Sunday night after the Stars game to link with England’s one-day squad for the series against the West Indies.

Bayliss, who used to coach the Sixers, was open to the idea of giving Curran an extended leave pass Down Under, but if the Sixers reached the final, Curran would arrive just two days before the first ODI because of the 48-hour travel time to the Caribbean.

Hawkins said the Sixers could not replace Curran with another international because any overseas replacement needed to have played in at least one game during the regular season.

Curran has proven a strong addition to the Sixers' line-up.

Curran has proven a strong addition to the Sixers’ line-up.Credit:James Alcock

On a brighter note, Hawkins hoped a new deal for Curran would be thrashed out soon, and possibly before next weekend’s game.

Henriques would love to see the return of Lyon, the man known as the ‘GOAT’, who has played 12 Tests, four ODIs and a T20 international in the past 12 months alone.

“Every time he’s come back to play for us it’s been a seamless transition, he’s performed well and there’s always a spot for him in our XI,” Henriques said.

As for Curran, who the 32-year-old Henriques spent two seasons with at Surrey, his batting had come on big time this summer and the chance to play in some high-pressure BBL finals would have held him in good stead for England duty.

“He was really keen to stay, but it’s a nightmare with flight times to get to the Caribbean,” Henriques said.

“If it wasn’t for that he would have played. He’ll be missed, he’s bowled a lot of our tough overs, and he’s developed his batting significantly.”

Thunder skipper Shane Watson was a fan of the Sixers going all the way and said: “They have balance in their bowling line-up and with their batting they’re not relying on one person in particular. They have a great chance of winning it.”

Christian covers rugby league for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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