New Delhi: Cricket Australian paid rich tributes to fast bowler Brett Lee who announced his retirement from international cricket today.
Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said Lee is an inspiration to kids 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," he said.
"On top of this, and this is a significant part of his legacy, Brett inspired young Australians to play cricket and bowl fast".
Lee retired after a 13-year international career that included 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20 internationals. He leaves international cricket as the second highest ODI wicket-taker for Australia behind Glenn McGrath (seventh all-time) and one of only four Australians to take more than 300 Test wickets.
Lee will still continue to play in the T20 Big Bash League as well as the Indian Premier League.
"Today one of Australia's most outstanding fast bowlers announced his retirement. Brett Lee's record speaks for itself," National Selector John Inverarity said.
"He first represented Australia as an exciting fast bowler in the Boxing Day Test in 1999 and played his last match for Australia on 7 July this year. In that period he captured 310 Test wickets (fourth on the all-time list) and 380 ODI wickets, second only to Glenn McGrath. Including T20s Brett took 718 international wickets and on numerous occasions had an impact with the bat, always in an entertaining manner.
"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," Inverarity further said.
"Australia's young fast bowlers have greatly benefitted from his mentoring and the standards he has set in recent years.
"The international cricketing world salutes Brett Lee, thanks him for his wonderful contribution to the game and wishes him well for the future. His ready and defining smile will be missed," he added.