Australian bowler Brett Lee has announced his retirement from cricket after a 20-year career in the sport.
The 38-year-old will bowl his final ball in the Big Bash League this January–that will either be in Sydney Sixers’ final group game next Thursday or slightly later if they reach the knockouts.
Lee is one of the fastest bowlers in the modern era and is Australia’s joint highest wicket-taker in one-day internationals – level on Glenn McGrath on 380. He also knocked off 310 bails in 76 Test cricket.
Not getting any younger
“I'm not Benjamin Button...I'm finally calling stumps on my career,” Lee joked with reporters.
“I'm excited and emotional, certainly happy that I've made the right decision.
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“I knew before this season it was going to be my last season and I think I've had more fun in the last six weeks than I have in the rest of my career.
“I didn't bother doing the maths but 20 years is a lot of ice baths, a lot of training sessions, a lot balls bowled and a lot of flights.
“But it's given me so many great memories."
From the Ashes
And his fondest of those is was the unforgettable Ashes series 10 years ago.
It may have ended in defeat for the Aussies, a major scalp for England at that time, but he still saw the importance of the event.
“My favourite Test series has got to be the Ashes '05,” he said. “What that did for cricket and for the people involved was incredible.”
Great for the sport
“Bat sales were up 68 per cent after that series I've been told. Even though we lost. The spirit in which it was played...I never played another series that tough.
“I had Flintoff running in at 95mph and two minutes later after they won we had a cold beer, a chat and a laugh.
“That's what sport is about.”
No chance of a comeback
The Big Bash and the Indian Premier League are leagues that certainly offer veteran cricketers the chance to continue their careers well into their twilight years.
But Lee has decided that now is finally the time to call it a day even though he’s been tempted out of it before by the Twenty20.
“Yeah, I've had more comebacks than Rambo...but there won't be any comebacks after this.”
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