In a country where cricket is almost a religion, the emergence of fast bowler Brett Lee has not failed to excite both followers and commentators alike.india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 16:34 IST
In a country where cricket is almost a religion, the emergence of fast bowler Brett Lee has not failed to excite both followers and commentators alike. His ability to consistently deliver balls at around 150kph has meant the 29-year-old is arguably one of the world's fastest bowler as well as a batsman's worst nightmare.
But 2004 hasn't really been Lee's year as the fast-bowler from New South Wales has been plagued by injuries for a major part of the year. He returned home midway through the Australian tour of Sri Lanka and then their tour of India in October. He was recalled for the Test series against New Zealand but hasn't become a constant fixture yet.
His feat of the 160.3kph thunderbolt delivered in the2003 World Cup where Lee publicly stated he would break the 160kph mark on the world stage of cricket. While the young speedster has quickly become a crowd favourite, his rise to international stardom has not been without speed humps. It is no coincidence that his personal motto is 'never give up'.
Like many other Australian sports stars, Lee was born on the New South Wales south coast, and from the age of ten knew he would one day play for in the Baggy Green.
Along with elder brother Shane, also an elite cricketer, Lee quickly found out that cricket would feature in his future. A product of the Australian Cricket Academy, he made his first-class debut in 1995 and his natural speed earned him plenty of attention.
It wasn't until 1999, however, that Lee made stunning Test and One-Day International debuts. During his first seven Tests, Lee took 42 wickets at 16.07 runs. Amazingly, and this is probably more a testament to the strength of the Australian side than to Lee himself Australia never lost a Test in Lee's first 12 months of international cricket.
Currently finding himself rated in the top 5 one-day bowlers in the world, Lee showed his match winning capabilities with a superb performance in the 2002/03 VB Series where he ripped through England in the finals series securing a win Australia never thought possible and taking 5 for 29 in the second Final.
He has his own rock band with brother Shane andhis own clothing line. He was runner-up in the 2001 Cleo Bachelor of the Year. He is one of the first Australian cricketer's to earn over the $1 million mark.
First Published: Jan 25, 2003 12:13 IST