Brett Lee announces retirement from competitive cricket
Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has announced that he has decided to retire from all forms of cricket and that the current Big Bash season will be his final tournament as a cricketer.
The 38-year-old is currently playing for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia and has been part of the franchise since 2011. He has picked up 31 wickets across 4 seasons of the tournament for them.
Lee knew retirement was on the horizon
Lee said that he had a fair idea prior to the start of the current season that this was going to be his final hurray on the cricketing field.
“I knew before the season started that this was going to be my last season. I met with [coach] Trevor Bayliss and the talk was will I play for another two or three years, and I had that option, but I said to him straight away I want to make this my last year, I really want to enjoy this year,” the speedster said.
Lee added that he considers himself to be very fortunate to have played the game for close to 20 years, having made his first-class debut for New South Wales in the 1994/95 season.
Speaking about the current BBL season, Lee said: "I think I've certainly had a lot more fun in the last six weeks than I ever have in my life. That's because I haven't put pressure on myself.
"Cricket has given me so many great memories, it has given me so many great opportunities. I've been lucky enough to play for 20 years, whereas most people might get a year or two. To play for two decades at the top level, really happy,"
CA chief hails Brett Lee’s contribution to cricket
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland also congratulated the bowler on a wonderful career and added that he had been an exceptional role model for all youngsters growing up.
“On behalf of Australian cricket, I congratulate Brett on a wonderful career.He has been an exceptional cricketer who gained fans around the world not only for his electrifying pace and performances with the ball, but the way that he played the game,” Sutherland said.
“Sir Donald Bradman often said that it is a player’s responsibility to leave the game in a better state than when they first became involved. Brett Lee has certainly done that. From the time that he burst onto the scene with five wickets on Test debut, he has been an outstanding role model for young cricketers and in his extensive travels he has always been a great ambassador for cricket and our country.
“Brett has done Australian cricket proud and we thank him for the brilliant contribution he made on and off the field.”
Satisfying career across all formats
Lee retired from the international game in July 2012 after a 13-year long career at the highest level. He picked up 310 wickets in 76 Tests for Australia at an average of 30.81 with best figures of 5 for 30, that he picked up against the West Indies at the Gabba in 2005. He was an equally effective bowler in ODI cricket, picking up 380 scalps in 221 games with a best of 5 for 22 against South Africa at Melbourne.
He was part of Australia’s squad in the inaugural World T20 in 2007 and became the first bowler to pick up a hat-trick in the tournament against Bangladesh. He also won the first edition of the Champions League T20 with New South Wales in 2011 and was adjudged the player of the series for his efforts in the competition.
He played in two editions of the World Cup in 2003 and 2011 and picked up 25 wickets in 17 matches with a best of 5 for 42, which came against New Zealand at Port Elizabeth in the 2003 edition.
Lee posted the following message on Facebook, following his retirement.