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We’re not racist

entertainment Updated: Jan 30, 2010 01:04 IST
Minakshi Saini
Minakshi Saini
Hindustan Times
Brett Lee

"

Namaste

", says Australian cricketer Brett Lee when greeted with a hello. Lee is trying hard to learn Hindi. “I enjoy learning Hindi. I am starting by asking a bottle of

thanda paani

and thank by saying

shukriya

. And also, I have learnt the phrase

sundar ladkiyaan

(beautiful girls),” he says with a wink.

Insisting India is like a second home to him, the fast bowler, currently in Delhi as the brand ambassador of Pearl Corporate, strongly condemns the attacks on Indians in Australia. “We are not racist,” he says emphatically, and adds, “Like I am always welcomed here, I welcome all Indians with open arms to Australia.

We are a multi-cultural country. Feel as safe and comfortable in Australia as you feel in India.”

Reacting to the strong buzz about his friendship with actress Preity Zinta being the reason behind her split with Ness Wadia, he says, “Never believe what you read. Preity and I are good friends. She is a wonderful girl and brings a unique energy to the Kings XI (the IPL team she co-owns with Wadia).” Falling short of words praising Zinta, he says, “Preity’s bubbly nature is infectious. She comes into the changing room and peps up the boys. Everybody loves it. We don’t treat her as one of the finest Bollywood stars but she’s damn good.”

Recuperating well from his elbow injury and upbeat about playing for IPL season 3, he says, “I will take some more weeks to recover. I will be seeing my surgeon next week and hopefully I will be back on track soon.”