Lee wonders at Waugh's comments
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Lee wonders at Waugh's comments

Tearaway fast bowler said Australia was aggressive enough to play it hard and never lost its competitive edge in the middle.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 14:55 IST

Tearaway fast bowler Brett Lee has wondered at his former captain Steve Waugh's comments that Australians were "too sociable" with English men, saying the team was aggressive enough to play it hard and never lost its competitive edge in the middle.

"It's always a fine line. If you overdo (aggression) it's 'ugly Australians', but if you have a smile on your face it's Australia being too nice," said Lee, whose friendship with England all rounder Andrew Flintoff was held up as a symbol of Ashes sportsmanship.

"The series was tough but fair. When we took the field against England we played it hard. But we were doing it the right way even though we were being very aggressive," he was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.

But, Lee said, his camaraderie with Flintoff never precluded spiteful interaction out in the middle.

"Look at Flintoff. When I was bowling to him I was being very aggressive," he said.

"He was trying to hit me for six and I was trying to get him out. Batting against him on several occasions my ribs got a workout. That's what Test cricket is about."

Australia's Ashes loss ended a run of 16 years of dominance for the treasured urn, starting in 1989. Waugh starred on that tour of England, where captain Allan Border famously put a freeze on previously warm relations with the opposition.

"I thought from the sidelines perhaps they were a little bit too friendly. As you get to know players more you become less intimidated by them," Waugh had told the BBC.

First Published: Apr 27, 2006 13:12 IST