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Player Profile: Brett Lee

Former cricket player Brett Lee is an Australian cricketing icon known as one of the game’s quickest ever bowlers and a nightmare for opposition batsmen.

In what was the golden-age of Australian cricket, Lee stood as a tall pillar in what was the county’s greatest ever bowling lineup. Lee joined Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath as an Australian attacking onslaught during the early 2000’s.

Making his Test debut in 1999 vs India, Lee’s international career was off to a flyer, taking his maiden wicket in his first over for Australia, dismissing Sadagoppan Ramesh. Lee also managed to take the scalp of Indian great Rahul Dravid and ended his first innings with a five-wicket haul of 5/47 from 17 overs.

Lee quickly became a resounding fan favourite in rapid time, taking 13 wickets in his opening two test matches for an absurd average of 14.15.

The paceman went on to win the Donald Bradman Young Layer of the Year Award for Australia, capping off a brilliant beginning to a long, illustrious career.

The boy from Wollongong had soon become a world-renowned bowler, both with the new and old ball, and quickly made a name for middle as the most feared attacker in the game.

Lee transitioned fittingly into the One Day format and won Player of the Series in back to back years between 2003 and 2005, a period where he won A World Cup and was a member of the ICC’s ODI Team of the Year.

Lee was one of Cricket’s star to benefit the biggest from the introduction of the T20 format, with his menacing attack with the ball and ability to quickly add runs to the tail making him one of the game’s best.

It seemed each time Lee was able to adjust to a new format or tactic, it would soon compliment his ability elsewhere, with a stunning individual display in Edgbaston during the 2005 Ashes Test almost taking his country to what would have been an astonishing victory.

Lee won his first and only Allan Border Medal in 2008, a year that saw him collect 57 wickets and six five-wicket hauls across 117 innings in Test matches alone. He also added another 24 wickets across the One Day and T20 formats.

Lee’s resilience was unparalleled with in the game. The paceman struggled to find his place in Australia’s Ashes Test side of 2009 as part of the English Summer tour after coming back from injury.

After missing out on the series, Lee was selected in Australia’s ODI side and was soon back to his ruthless best, taking the most wickets for his country with 12 and added a five-wicket haul – becoming the first player to take two 5WI at Lords in ODI’s.

Unfortunately, patterns persisted with Lee being sidelined due to injury and eventually making miraculous returns to the ODI and T20 squads and thriving in the One-Day formats as his place in the Test side faded.

Lee’s focus on the newer formats prolonged his successful career in the game, becoming the second fastest Australian to tale 100 ODI wickets and was the first ever player to take a hat-trick in a Twenty20 International match.

Domestically, Lee was a prominent figure across the globe, starting his career as a young starlet for New South Wales before stints with Kings XI Punjab, Wellington, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sydney Sizers and Otago.

Lee announced his retirement from Test cricket in 2010, ending his career with 310 wickets across 76 tests, sitting fourth highest for Australian wicket takers behind Warne, McGrath and Dennis Lillee.

After 221 ODIs and 25 T20Is, Lee called time on his International career as tied McGrath on 380 ODI wickets, the highest by any Australian.

Lee continued his career shortly with a number of domestic clubs and soon moved into a media role as an analyst and game caller.

The spiky-haired youngster from the ‘Gong will forever be known as one of the greatest cricketers Australia has ever seen and one of the world’s best bowlers in the history of cricket.

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The emerging talent that can be crucial as England look to make 2021 a year to remember

English cricket is in a very healthy position right now and there will be a real hope that they can make 2021 a memorable year.​

They kick things off with a challenging tour to India in the next few months. That’s followed by a T20 World Cup, as well as a trip down under to take on Australia as they look to win the Ashes back, so it really should be exciting.​

A quick look at the latest cricket betting odds shows they are 11/4 to win the little urn and among the favourites for the T20 World Cup. So, it’s possible that it could be a period that is remembered forever in English cricket, if they can be successful on both fronts.​

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with dreaming, the reality is that it’s going to be a huge test for the players. Even though most of the squad for those fixtures already picks itself, there is still time for those on the fringes to force their way in. Plus, injuries and form can play a part over the coming months.

One man who is sure to have a significant role, though, both next year and for potentially the next decade or so, is Sam Curran.​

Of course, the 22-year-old has already made a name for himself in the game and he was the most expensive English player to play in the IPL, which highlights how high his reputation is across the globe. However, it’s important to remember that he is still a young player but even that’s exciting as he has the potential to improve.​

Ben Stokes has carried England somewhat over the years and there would always be a concern that, if he dropped out of the team, there’s no genuine alternative.​

And, whilst we don’t want to put extra pressure on Curran, he certainly has the qualities to become a talisman for the country if Stokes is absent. Pleasingly, that appears to be a role the Surrey man is relishing as he has already revealed that he sees the World Cup winner as an inspiration.​

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>With Ben Stokes rested for the South Africa ODI series, the all-rounder&#39;s wait for his first 50-over appearance since he won the World Cup looks set to continue through to 2021… <a href=”https://t.co/QrcApw4mrf”>pic.twitter.com/QrcApw4mrf</a></p>&mdash; Wisden (@WisdenCricket) <a href=”https://twitter.com/WisdenCricket/status/1323626430970974208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>November 3, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>​

For the fans, the most exciting option would be getting the two all-rounders in the team together and that will be a prospect that frightens the opposition. Curran has proven with both bat and ball that he can deliver on the biggest stage and the upcoming events are a great setting to showcase his talents further.​

With the ferocious pace of Joffra Archer leading the bowling attack, backed up by the reliable Stuart Broad, England are always dangerous. Then, they boast accomplished batsmen and captains in Joe Root and Eoin Morgan in both formats of the game, with further quality in all positions. ​

But, the likes of Stokes and Curran just bring that something special to the team, as they’re capable of pulling off that match-winning shot or taking a crucial wicket.​

The world already knows about Stokes’ talents and in truth they already know what Curran can do. However, he may be able to elevate himself to the next level by helping England to victories in what is a massive 2021.