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NSW's Lyon new Qld cult hero at Gabba

AAP logoAAP 17/12/2016 Laine Clark

Queensland can't be summed up much better than Wally Lewis, XXXX beer, the Great Barrier Reef and....NSW spinner Nathan Lyon?

The Test offie may qualify for the Blues in State of Origin and have as much in common with the Sunshine State as alpine skiing.

Yet Lyon has been hailed "Queensland's new favourite son" at Australia's day-night first Test against Pakistan.

The Gabba faithful have embraced the man affectionately dubbed "Gary" as a cult hero.

Much to the amusement of Test teammate - Queensland captain Usman Khawaja.

"I've never seen anything like it," he said of the Gabba crowd's affection for Lyon.

"We're calling him 'Queensland's new favourite son'.

"I've been booted out. Me and (fellow Queenslander Matt) Renshaw are gone."

Seeds for the phenomenon were planted when stump mikes picked up Test keeper Matthew Wade saying "Nice Gary" as encouragement to the spinner, in reference to the AFL identity.

It caught fire on social media and the rest is history.

"Social media's funny how things can just blow out of proportion," Khawaja said.

"I call him the new cult hero. Everyone just seems to love him."

Lyon receives raucous applause any time he is near the ball or bat at the Gabba.

A passionate "Gary" chant starts up when he is not.

Then there are the "Nice Gary" t-shirts that have become a must in the Gabba crowd.

You can only imagine the roar when Lyon dismissed Babar Azam for 14 in Saturday's evening session.

"He's been playing up to it (crowd support) a bit," Khawaja laughed.

"But it's been awesome how the crowd's been getting behind him.

"We love it. It's nice to see the crowd just get amongst it."

Lyon took 1-13 to help reduce Pakistan to 2-70 by stumps on day three in pursuit of a world record victory target of 490.

Surprisingly, Lyon was a real chance of being overlooked for the Brisbane Test.

He got the nod ahead of Chadd Sayers on the morning of the Test after the selectors' last minute call not to opt for four quicks.

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