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Brett Lee retires from international cricket

July 13, 2012


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.''