On a cold winter morning and boxing day in Australia, There was huge buzz in the Australian Camp that a 23 year old blonde who can bowl as fast as the now Pakistani Great Shoaib Akhtar was on the cards to make the debut against a very subdued Indian Side.
Although our batting line boasted the Likes of Sachin, Dravid , Laxman , and Ganguly, It was single handedly destroyed by the pace and bounce of Brett Lee.
A young Blonde with an Angelic Smile had Announced his Arrival in the Baggy Green. I was 6....Cricket was surely my first love but I hardly knew anything about cricket other than holding a plastic bat and the name of Sachin Tendulkar.
He soon became a World Cup Hero picking up 23 wickets in 2003 edition ...and in that transition of him from a youngster to become the superstar of the Australian Team .....I had become his Huge Fan....and I in my subconscious mind supported Australia during the finals in world cup edition of 2003. I started Copying his Bowling Action..No one coached me to bowl round arm ..I learnt it by watching him. As a Child I never knew what greatness was...neither was he a great bowler..he was just a debutant..
Any man would envy Brett Lee. And why not? The Hollywood-like looks when coupled with those thunderbolts made him an instant hit with the female fans. Then you, bring into the picture his musical acumen and there’s the superstar. Lee has always had this likeable aura around him, whether you were anAustralian fan or not, there was something about him that drew you towards him. The jovial and smiling face would often mask the ruthless paceman batsmen feared to face. As he calls time on his cricketing career, one can say that the fans will miss that smiling assassin who often brought life to a game, not only with his bowling but also his persona.
Lee has been away from international cricket since 2012 and has only played T20 cricket since. Back then, it was quite a sad end to his International Career as he hobbled off the field with an injury during a One-Day International (ODI) against England in Durham. The injuries have been huge hurdles during a long international career. Lee has had to fight it out, bide his time and wait for a comeback. His Test career also ended in similar circumstances. Though he tried to get back, his body gave way again.
But, for characters like Lee, you hope for a good finish. In that way, T20 cricket has been kind and allowed the pacer some more time to
play the game he loves. In 2013, he began the IndianPremier League (IPL) with a wicket off the first ball. That year, he seemed that youthful mentor to a brigade of fast bowlers that looked up to him. Lee has been an extremely popular figure in India, but sadly, he hasn’t played in the country since the IPL 2013. His appearances have been restricted to the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League (BBL).
At the age of 38, Lee calls time on what has been a memorable career. The sight of him running in with a rhythmic run-up, that jump at the bowling crease and the thunderbolt that shattered the stumps would be sorely missed. He was always a more threatening bowler in limited-overs cricket, where his statistics are fantastic. There would be many moments one would associate with him — the successful run at the 2003
World Cup, the Ashes 2005, but there was always that cheer from the crowd that stood out. Even when he was a 12th man during the 2004 tour to India, the crowd would unfailingly give him a reception when he walked out with the drinks. That was his appeal.
Today Brett Lee Bowled the last over of his Competitive Career that Lasted 20 Years. It wasn’t a Fairy Tale Finish for him but surely a Perfect One. The Opposition Team Needing 1 from 3 balls and Brett lee knocking the timber the next two balls and being on a hat-trick. An unfortunate misfield lead to the loss of Sydney and left Brett lee shattered. His amazing sportsmanship and passion combined with blazing pace was on show today when he clocked 149.3 kmph ball and was constantly bowling in the mid 140s.
I know I will still see him, in a film titled UnIndian. He will probably mentor some team and guide young bowlers for some time. However, can Mitchell Johnson or a Dale Steyn make me glue to the Television set the way Lee did? Probably not ,It all Started with Him and ends with him. Cricket is now an inch less amazing for me...Yet my first love and the best thing to me.
Lee will always be remembered as the blonde-haired guy, the boy whom I once thought to be Bruce Lee’s distant relative, the cricketer whose image of speed bowling and crushing batsmen’s toes accompanied with that customary high-jumping celebration.
I will miss you, Brett Lee.
I will miss you, Brett Lee.
Brett Lee ends as the most successful ODI Bowler and 4th Most successful Bowler In TESTS for Australia.
TESTS :- 76 310
ODIs :- 221 380
T20s :- 145 137
Certainly an All Time Great. Thank You For an Amazing Childhood And Inspiring me In such a big way.
*article combined by various sources.