'Racism needs to be wiped out... '

"... but a very small minority of the Aussie crowds are giving all Australians a bad name," said strike bowler Brett Lee.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 14:58 IST

Strike bowler Brett Lee thinks that "a very small minority of the Aussie crowds are giving all Australians a bad name" by passing racist remarks on the Proteas during their recent tour down under and said racism in any form should be wiped out of cricket.

"Racism should not be tolerated either on the field, in the crowd or in everyday life. I don't think that it is a major problem because I have not witnessed any of it myself. However, there may be a very small minority of the Australian crowds that are giving all Australians a bad name. It is something that needs to be looked at and wiped out of our game," The Independent quoted him today as saying.

Lee, who is now in South Africa tour, said the Ashes series last year was not out of their mind yet and the Aussies have some unfinished business to attend to next November when England tour Australia.

"The Ashes has been great motivation for us to knuckle down and lift our performance so we are ready and firing to win back the Ashes."

"It (the Ashes) was definitely up there with the best series I have been involved in. The spirit in which the cricket was played by both teams was great and the level of competition was amazing. The series provided so many match altering efforts and plays and none of the games were one sided the whole way through," said the out-and-out pace bowler whose team-mates called Binga after an electrical appliance chain in Australia named Bing Lee.

Lee said he was hurt when some people suggested he intentionally bowled beamers at batsmen.

"As a bowler you have to realise that if you bowl a bouncer at someone you have to expect one or two in return from them or their team-mates. Sure I've bowled a lot of bouncers throughout my career but I have faced just as many. Bouncers are part of the game. When used properly they are a very effective tool in setting up batsmen for a wicket."

But, he said he would never intentionally bowl a beamer at someone.

"Everyone that knows me knows that is not in my nature. I play hard but I also pride myself on playing fairly. To hear some suggest otherwise was very disappointing," said the bowler who is also a bass guitarist with the band Six And Out.

The Elvis Presley fan also said Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar are the hardest batsman in world cricket to bowl at.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 14:13 IST