Brett Lee—Reuters Photo
Brett Lee—Reuters Photo

SYDNEY: Veteran Australian pace bowler Brett Lee has announced his retirement from all international cricket but will continue to play Twenty20 matches in the Indian Premier League and in Australia's domestic Big Bash competition.  

Lee, who hasn't played test cricket since 2010, suffered a calf injury during Australia's recent 4-0 one-day series loss in England.

He says his original plan was to retire internationally after the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, but realised he had lost the drive to play top-line cricket.

''The last two or three nights I thought about it a lot,'' Lee said at media conference Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground. ''I woke up this morning and just felt like I was ready.

''In a team environment you have to have 100 percent commitment, mentally and physically. And looking at the next few months I just didn't have that desire any more. It wouldn't be fair on me or the team. You get to a point in life when enough's enough.''

Lee had side strains, stress fractures and ankle problems throughout a career that netted 310 test wickets in 76 matches and 380 one-day international wickets—one short of Glenn McGrath's Australian record of 381 ODI wickets.

Lee was not offered a national contract in Cricket Australia's latest round of agreements.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Lee was an inspiration to children to take up the game.

''His record as a wicket-taker and leader of the attack is fantastic and speaks for itself, but his resilience and ability to bounce back after numerous injuries has also been impressive,'' Sutherland said.

''On top of this, and this is a significant part of his legacy, Brett inspired young Australians to play cricket and bowl fast.''

National selector John Inverarity said Lee's record ''speaks for itself.''

''He first represented Australia as an exciting fast bowler in the Boxing Day test in 1999 and played his last match for Australia on July 7 this year,'' Inverarity said.

''The statistics only tell part of the story. Brett has been an absolute ornament to the game; a fine player, a fierce and brave competitor, a generous opponent and one who always upheld the highest standards of sportsmanship.''

Lee has had a popular following in India, even before his IPL playing days on the subcontinent. He was a frequent visitor there, has appeared playing his guitar on a high-rating Indian talk show, and said he was offered a spot in a Bollywood movie.

He once said India was a place where ''they want to crowd you with love.''

Updated Jul 13, 2012 04:57am

Comments (9) (Closed)


ISHTIAQ
Jul 13, 2012 07:41pm
Brett Lee was one of the most charismatic cricketer Aussies have produced. I always enjoyed watching him bowl and bat. Will miss him.
Dev
Jul 13, 2012 07:58pm
Any bowler who can hurl the ball at over 90 mph consistently is a treat to watch, Brett Lee was one of those.
K2 torornto
Jul 13, 2012 05:11am
Another golden chapter in cricketing world closed after Shoiab Akhtar retirement last year, There are only few nations who are blessed with this talent of course Pakistan and Australia; we love to see again 160 K supper fast blower in the ground, they’ll be never forgotten
G-One
Jul 13, 2012 05:22am
A Great loss to the international one day cricket!!!
Syed Shamshad Ali
Jul 13, 2012 11:33am
Brett Lee you were one of the inspiration /attraction to sit in front of TV and watch a cricket game. Some people have replacements some not and surely Cricket Australia does not have any replacement in view in the next few years. We have started to miss you right now.
Saad
Jul 13, 2012 06:31am
Brett Lee you been always one of my best palyer and all cricket playing nations will never forget what you had give to world of cricket. May God bless from here after
stubborn
Jul 13, 2012 06:54am
lee was the masterpiece of oneday cricket
Zener
Jul 13, 2012 09:05am
atleast he retired gracefuly unlike shoaib
gohar
Jul 14, 2012 04:23am
Paki players should learn from such class players. They retire gracefully and make way for new young blood.