Born on November 8, 1976, Brett Lee celebrated his 38th birthday on Saturday. Lee, also known as ‘Binga’ to his teammates, was perhaps the fastest bowler of his generation. He and Pakistani pacer Shoiab Akthar were famous for wanting to out-do each other in the pace department. While Akhtar might have been just a bit pacier, Lee was by far the more disciplined of the two — both on the field and especially off it.
Lee was a prolific wicket-taker for Australia in all three formats of the game with over 700 wickets across formats. Also a more than handy batsman, he averaged over 20 with the bat in Tests, scoring five half-centuries. His ODI batting average too was impressive for someone batting as low as he would at 17.81 with three fifties. He also took the first ever T20I hat-trick.
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Lee was, and perhaps still is, one of Australia’s most popular cricketers in the last couple of decades. Known for being an aggressive competitor on the field, he was equally charming and good-humoured off it. It is a little-known fact that Lee was a member of a rock band called “Six & Out” along with fellow New South Wales First-Class cricketers Shane Lee (his brother), Richard Chee Quee, Brad McNamara, and Gavin Robertson.
Lee made his Test debut against India in 1999, taking five for 47 and two for 31 at Melbourne, though he went wicketless on his ODI debut against Pakistan in 2000. He played for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Lee’s older brother Shane also played 45 ODIs for Australia, but was unable to cement his place in the side.
Here is a brief look at the Cricketing Career of this versatile fast bowler:
– Test debut v India at Melbourne – December 1999.
– ODI debut v Pakistan at Brisbane – January 2000.
– Fast bowler capable of bowling over 90 miles per hour as well as being an athletic fielder and aggressive lower-order batsman.
– Made first-class debut for New South Wales as an eighteen-year-old in 1994.
– Made Test debut in December 1999 against India, taking thirteen wickets in his opening two Tests at an average of 14.15.
– Took 40 wickets in his opening 7 Tests.
– Named Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year in 2000.
– After a disappointing 2001 Ashes he struggled with injury, and when he returned to the Test squad it was only as the 12th man.
– Member of the 2003 World Cup winning side, where he claimed a hat-trick against Kenya.
– Returned to the Test side for the 2005 Ashes series with a number of gutsy performances but was unable to prevent the loss of the urn.
– Took 200th Test wicket in the second Test of the South Africa tour in 2006.
– Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2006
– Played a major role in Australia’s 5-0 drubbing of England in 2006-07 but missed the 2007 World Cup due to injury.
– Test Player of the Year 2008.
– Came back strongly to spearhead Australia’s attack and was named Test Player of the Year in 2008, when he also picked up the Allan Border Medal.
– Took time off after the 2008 tour of the West Indies because of a tough divorce, and struggled to regain his rhythm during the tour of India in October and November.
– Hobbled out of the 2008 Boxing Day Test against South Africa to undergo foot and ankle surgery, then watched his replacements sparkle during Australia’s tour of South Africa.
– Selected for the 2009 Ashes squad but failed to make it onto the field due to injuries, and he continued to be plagued by a variety of problems over the next year as he missed the entire Australian summer and then the 2010 World Twenty20.
Other Things about multifaceted Brett Lee :
Brett Lee is part of the Rock Band, Six and Out
Brett lee wrote the lyrics, played the guitar and sang a duet with Asha Bhosle, “You are the One for me”
Brett Lee is the lead Actor in the movie, “UnIndian”
Brett Lee has co hosted “The Cricket Show” along with former Australian cricketer Michael Slater.