Lee admits loss of desire as he calls time on international cricket
Brett Lee retired from international cricket yesterday, claiming he woke up on Thursday and decided “enough is enough”.
Lee says he can no longer offer the required commitment to succeed at the highest level after almost 12-and-a-half years of donning the Baggy Green.
The 35-year-old was expected to stand down following the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka later this year but decided to bring it forward after questioning his appetite for battle.
“The last two or three nights I thought about it a lot,” said Lee. “I woke up this morning and just felt like I was ready. I think personally in a team environment you have to have 100 per cent commitment – mentally and physically. And I guess looking at the next few months I just didn’t have that desire any more.
“It wouldn’t be fair on me, or my team if I went with that attitude. You get to the point in life where you say enough is enough.
“People can look back and say I tried my hardest every time I went on to the cricket field. You can look at the records and stuff but that doesn’t worry me, what I am proud of is my longevity.”
Lee flew home early from the tour of England – which concluded this week with Australia’s 4-0 humbling – due to a calf strain but will continue to play in limited-overs formats for New South Wales and in the Indian Premier League. “It’s now stage two of my life coming up so I’m pretty happy and excited,” he added. “My holiday will be at home, I’m sick of being away.” As he reflected on his career, Lee singled out the Edgbaston Test in the 2005 Ashes defeat to England – a match which featured the iconic handshake and embrace between victorious England bowler Andrew Flintoff and a disconsolate Lee – as one of many highlights.
He said: “There have been some great memories: Glenn [McGrath] getting a Test hat-trick; us winning the World Cup; the 2005 Test at Edgbaston when we lost by two runs. That was still one of my favourite Test matches to play in because of the way it was played... the spirit of the game.”
Lee retired from the Test arena in February 2010 after claiming 310 scalps at an average of 30.81 in 76 matches. He continued to play one-day international and Twenty20 cricket at international and domestic level.
In the absence of the likes of McGrath and Jason Gillespie, Lee spearheaded the pace attack in the 50-over format of the game to good effect.
Lee finished his one-day career with 380 wickets – one short of McGrath’s Australian record haul of 381 – from 221 matches at an average of 23.36 and an economy rate of 4.76.
His NSW team-mate Pat Cummins said yesterday: “It’s a testament to Brett’s ability and athleticism that he has been able to remain one of the world’s best and fastest bowlers for such a long time.”
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Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
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Temperature: 8 C to 17 C
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