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.