Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has today announced his retirement from international cricket. After returning home from Australia’s tour of England with a calf strain Lee has decided to bring an end to his illustrious career.
Over his 13-year career during which he played 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20 internationals Lee was a shining light in the Australian side. Lee is part of a select group of players to have taken more than 300 Test wickets and only Glen McGrath has taken more wickets for Australia in ODI cricket.
Paying tribute to Brett Lee’s career today were Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland and National Selector John Inverarity. Sutherland described Lee as an inspirational wicket taker:
“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,” he said.
John Inverarity added to this by saying that Lee’s contribution to cricket went beyond what he did on the pitch:
“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. He has been a cricketer in every sense of the word.”
He added, “The 'Spirit of Cricket' has received prominence in recent years. Brett Lee has been the very embodiment of this for 13 years at the international level. He leaves the scene having made friends and won respect throughout the cricketing world, not only for his outstanding achievements and wholehearted efforts, but also for his generosity of spirit and readiness to help others.”
Lee, who made his international debut in the Boxing Day Test in 1999, is most famous for his deadly in-swinging yorker. His stand out performance was arguably in the 2003 world cup in which he took 22 wickets and twice clocked over the 160 km/h mark in Australia’s route to victory.
Brett Lee will still continue to play domestic in the KFC T20 Big Bash League as well as the Indian Premier League.
© Cricket World 2012
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