July 13, 2012
Australian pace bowler Brett Lee has announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket.
“It’s official, I have retired from international cricket. Thanks for all your love and support. It’s been an amazing 13 years,” Lee said via Twitter on Friday, ahead of an official news conference.
Lee, 35, who returned home early from Australia’s one-day tour of England this month with calf problems, said it was the right time to call an end to his long career.
“I woke up this morning and knew I had to call it quits today. Friday the 13th, 13 years (since his Test debut), I thought it was pretty appropriate,” he told Channel Nine.
“I thought I would go over there and try and play the Twenty20 World Cup (in Sri Lanka in September), but (being) mentally and physically challenged, it would just not be worth it.
“So I’m walking away happy with the call I’ve made.” Lee said while he had enjoyed his cricket career, he was tired of being away from home for long periods and was looking forward to a different phase of his life.”
“It’s been a fantastic career and I’ve loved every minute of it, but it’s stage two of my life now,” he said.
“My holiday will be at home — I’m sick of being away. That was on my mind as well — time away from home.”
“I just want to maybe do some fishing and just chill out for a few months.”
It ends a magnificent 13 year old career where Lee was a member of one of the most successful Australian team. Lee had earlier retired from Test cricket in February, 2010 with an impressive record of 310 wickets in 76 Test matches.
Interestingly his Test career began against India, a country he frequents for reasons beyond cricket.
Lee made his Test debut against India in the Boxing Day Test and made quite an impression claiming 5/47. He rattled the touring Indians with shear pace and was hailed as one of the fastest bowlers alongside Pakistan’s Shoaib Akhtar.
But the promise he held out at the start of his career was hampered by frustrating injury breakdowns. The speedster underwent as many as four surgeries on his right ankle itself besides enduring shoulder problems.
However, that didn’t affect his commercial appeal either in Australia or India, where he collaborated with the legendary Asha Bhonsle for a hit song and made a cameo appearance as himself in a Bollywood movie.
The constant niggles and injuries did not hinder Lee’s cricketing career either as he went on to successfully claim 310 wickets in 76 Test matches. Lee retired in early 2010 from Test cricket stating that his body could not take any more of the demanding aspect of Test cricket but continued to be a part of the national team in colored clothing.
“I look back to when I was 19, and while I hope (my injuries) never happen to anyone else, it’s a fact that when you bowl fast injuries happen,” he has said.
“You have to deal with it and you have to learn from what’s happened because it makes you a stronger person. I have a saying ‘if you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much space’ – it means have a crack.”
Brett Lee was a part of the WC winning 2003 Australian team where he ended the tournament with 22 wickets, emerging as the second highest wicket taker in the tournament behind Sri Lanka’s Chaminda Vaas. Lee however missed the 2007 World Cup with an injury. He did return for the 2011 version where Australia were beaten by eventual champions India in the quarter-finals.
Lee was a part of Australia’s squad in the just concluded ODI series against England and his last match was the 4th ODI at Chester-Le-Street. A calf injury cut short his tour and he was forced to return home.
Lee ends his ODI career as the joint highest wicket taker for Australia in ODI’s along with Glenn McGrath at 380 wickets. He also picked up 28 wickets in 25 T20 internationals for Australia.
Lee however will continue to play in domestic T20 tournaments across the world. He is contracted with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL and also plays for the Sydney Sixers in the Australian Big Bash. Both teams have made it to this year’s Champions League T20 as winners of their respective domestic T20 tournaments.