When Brett Lee announced his retirement from international cricket last week, among the many who paid their tribute to him was Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, with whom the Australian pacer shared a great camaraderie, both on and off the field.
"BrettLee_58 Its been a joy to play against u Binga. Congratulations for a successful career.... All the best wishes to you for the future," Tendulkar tweeted.
Lee responded with as much respect, saying that the Indian brought out the best in him. "@sachin_rt yes mate it's been fun. Thanks for all the hard battles on the pitch. You definitely brought the best out of me," said the 35-year-old, who endured several injuries in a 13-year career before calling it day.
While the cricket fans have witnessed great contests between the two greats on the 22-yard track, off the field they are good pals. Talking to Sydney Morning Herald, Brett Lee and James Knight, who penned Lee's biography - My Life, shared an incident when he went go-karting with Sachin in Mumbai after dinner.
"The Little Master suggested the pair go go-karting. Lee asked what time they'd go the next day. Tendulkar said 'No. We'll go now'," said James Knight.
"Then I realised what I'd said - if there's anyone who can have a go-karting place opened when he wants, it's Sachin. He made a couple of calls and within 10 or 15 minutes we were there. His assistant brings out a No.10 (his playing number)go-kart, which I reckon was souped-up. I reckon I got stitched up for sure," Lee said.
Later, Sachin invited Brett Lee for a drive. "What time in the morning," Lee asked. "No. Now," Sachin replied. Soon Sachin arrived in his Ferrari and the two whizzed through the streets of Mumbai in the middle of the night, the only time the batting superstar can drive his car without being mobbed.