ADAM Lyth is preparing for his Pakistan Super League debut this weekend, with a ringing endorsement that he could play and excel in any domestic T20 league in the world.

That is the view of Yorkshire’s bowling coach Rich Pyrah, himself a T20 all-rounder of some repute during his playing days.

And that is very much how Pyrah views 33-year-old Lyth. An all-rounder.

Many will label the 2015 Ashes and two-time County Championship winner as an opening batsman, but he is much more than that.

“Add in to the way he bats, he’s one of the best fielders in the country and is a very, very canny off-spinner,” said Pyrah. “Another very important attribute is the way he speaks to young players. He’s a real leader in that sense.”

Lyth has been signed on as a replacement player to represent the Multan Sultans in the play-off stages of the Pakistan competition delayed by coronavirus in March.

Many of those in action then are unavailable now, for a number of reasons, and Lyth is replacing West Indian Fabian Allen between Saturday and Tuesday, when the White Rose star could play a maximum of three matches, including a final.

Pyrah jokes that he should be taking some commission for Lyth’s deal having tweeted late last month during the Indian Premier League: “A lot of IPL replacements at the minute.

“I find it crazy how teams around the world aren’t looking at Lythy - one of the most consistent (and) explosive players in the world in my opinion. Bats, bowls and fields.”

Well, the Sultans are looking, and Pyrah reckons more should follow for a player who has had previous experience playing in the Bangladesh Premier League and the T10 League out in the United Arab Emirates.

“He’s always had the talent and quality, but this last two or three years he’s really worked his game out and is putting in consistent performances because of that,” Pyrah told

“Whoever the bowler, seam or spin, he seems to be able to hit it 360 degrees, which makes him so hard to bowl at.

“You get people at the top of the order who are predominantly good against seam. But look at Lythy’s stats and he’s good against both seam and spin.

“That was why I tweeted. For me, he’s consistently the best T20 opening batter, certainly in county cricket and probably beyond.”

Lyth has scored 2,934 runs from 122 career T20 appearances, taking 21 wickets with his off-spinners and pouching 62 catches.

He is Yorkshire’s all-time T20 leading run-scorer with 2,927 runs, is the English record holder for the highest individual score (161 - the fourth highest in the world) and is one of only seven men to have taken five wickets in an innings for Yorkshire.

His 57 career catches for Yorkshire is also a club record.

Pyrah continued: “He hits all types of bowling all around the ground.

“He hits a little bit squarer than most because he’s a small lad with good quick hands, so he’s strong square over the leg-side and square over the off-side.

“He scores a lot of runs there (over the off-side), so they’ll drop it short and he’ll pull it for six. He’s so hard to bowl at.

“He doesn’t really change his set-up from white ball to red ball.

“He might stay a bit more leg-side in T20 and one-day cricket. That’s why he’s so consistent, because his game doesn’t change much. He’s such a natural hitter of the ball.

“He can hit on top of the bounce, he can pull from back of a length.”

Despite returning stronger four-day performances in the earlier stages of his career, he has been a more consistent white ball player over the past two or three years.

“It has been frustrating for him in first-class cricket, but look around the country and there’s not many batters who are consistent in all formats at once,” said Pyrah. “Maybe towards the end of their careers they are.

“Lythy is one of those players who has taken that bit longer to work things out, but he’s definitely got there now.

“Red ball cricket, he came in to it in his early to mid-twenties. Similar in Test cricket, he went in to that a bit later. But I honestly think if he went back into that format he would do well.

“England are looking to build limited overs teams for the next 10-15 years, the likes of Tom Banton coming in. Dawid’s (Malan) not even in the one-day squad.

“They are bringing youth in to develop another team of this stature. So Lythy may struggle to break into that.

“That’s why I believe he would be so valuable to teams on the T20 circuit.

“Someone who is clearly of that class but isn’t involved (with the national side), will be available for all the Big Bash, all of the IPL at this time of year. I see it as a complete no brainer.

“He would definitely be one of the first names on my team-sheet if I was a coach in franchise cricket.”

On his bowling qualities, Pyrah said: “His off-spin is very under-rated. He thinks as a batter with the ball in hand, which puts him one step ahead.

“He’s started to bowl more and more, and he’s been bowling some important overs for us at all stages of the innings. As a spinner, he also gets his yorkers in pretty consistently. There aren’t many who do that.”

Lyth not being a household name outside of England has counted against him in the past when it comes to overseas assignments, with his chances limited.

“In those tournaments, a lot of players are picked and favoured on international name,” reasoned Pyrah.

“He’s getting picked up for squads on his domestic stats, but there’s still a reluctance to play lads who aren’t international names.

“That means he will have to take his chance when he gets it. If he does, across three, four or five games, he will start to play more and get recognised.

“If he gets that chance in the PSL this weekend, I’m sure he will take it.

“There’s no doubt he can adapt to different pitches.

“We played Derbyshire last year at Chesterfield on a slow and low one. We all know it’s somewhere where we’ve struggled. Darren Stevens was opening the bowling, and Lythy swept him for six first ball.

“He’s got the game to play on slower pitches because he sweeps and isn’t your typical bludgeoner.

“He’s got plenty of shots to ensure he’s a success on slower pitches. Then, get him on the quicker ones in Australia and he’ll punish you square.”

It seems Lyth is all set for a big weekend in the context of his career then.