Loss of desire sees Australian cricketer Brett Lee announce international retirement

 

Brett Lee revealed a loss of desire to compete at the highest level led to his decision to retire from international cricket today.

Lee, 35, was forced to return home early from Australia's one-day tour of England earlier this month with a calf injury.

And his appearance in the fourth match of the series in Durham - where he took 0-12 off 2.2 overs in an eight-wicket loss - proved to be his last for his country.

Lee had been hopeful of playing in Australia's Twenty20 World Cup team in August and September in Sri Lanka.

But after his latest injury setback, the paceman decided enough was enough.

"The last two or three nights I thought about it a lot," Lee told Australia's Channel 9 today. "I woke up this morning and just felt like I was ready.

"I think personally in a team environment you have to have 100% commitment - mentally and physically.

"And I guess looking at the next few months I just didn't have that desire any more.

"It wouldn't be fair on me, or my team if I went with that attitude.

"You get to the point in life where you say enough is enough."

The paceman will continue to play domestic cricket for New South Wales in the shorter forms, although he turned down a Cricket New South Wales contract last month, while he is also likely to continue playing in the Indian Premier League.

Lee retired from the Test arena in February 2010 after claiming 310 scalps at an average of 30.81 in 76 matches.

He continued to play one-day international and Twenty20 cricket at both international and domestic level and, in the absence of the likes of Glenn McGrath and Jason Gillespie, spearheaded the pace attack in the 50-over format of the game.

Lee finished his one-day career with 380 wickets - one short of McGrath's Australian record haul of 381 - from 221 matches at an average of 23.36 and an economy rate of 4.76.

National selector John Inverarity said: "Today one of Australia's most outstanding fast bowlers announced his retirement."

He added: "The statistics only tell part of the story.

"Brett has been an absolute ornament to the game; a fine player, a fierce and brave competitor, a generous opponent and one who always upheld the highest standards of sportsmanship.

"He has been a cricketer in every sense of the word."

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: "His record as a wicket-taker and leader of the attack is fantastic and speaks for itself but his resilience and ability to bounce back after numerous injuries has also been impressive.

"On top of this, and this is a significant part of his legacy, Brett inspired young Australians to play cricket and bowl fast."

BRETT LEE FACTFILE

1976: Born on November 8 in Wollongong, New South Wales.

1999: December 26 - Makes his Test debut against India in Melbourne and takes five wickets in an innings.

2000: January 9 - One-day international debut against Pakistan in Brisbane.

March - Reported for an illegal action but later cleared.

2001: February - Undergoes elbow surgery for the first time and is ruled out for three months.

2003: Takes two wickets in Australia's 125-run win over India in the World Cup final at Johannesburg.

2005: August 8 - Was at the non-striker's end when Australia suffered a heartbreaking two-run defeat in the memorable second Ashes Test at Edgbaston. England go on to win the series 2-1 and reclaim the Ashes for the first time in two decades.

November - Claims his Test-best figures of five for 30 against West Indies in Brisbane.

2006: November - Named in the ICC Test and ODI Team of the Year.

2007: February - Undergoes ankle surgery which rules him out of the World Cup in the Caribbean.

2008: February 26 - Wins Allan Border Medal as Australia's best player in all forms of the game during the past year.

June 29 - Takes his 300th ODI wicket against West Indies at St George's to become just the second Australian to achieve the feat.

August - Rules himself out of the ODI series with Bangladesh following the break-up of his marriage.

October - Surpasses Craig McDermott's 291 Test wickets to become Australia's fourth-highest wicket taker of all-time.

November - Takes his 300th Test wicket against New Zealand in Brisbane.

2009: January - Ruled out of series against South Africa and undergoes surgery on his left ankle.

July - Suffers side strain in final warm-up match ahead of the Ashes and does not play in the series despite being fit for the fourth Test at Headingley.

December 3 - Has surgery on his troublesome elbow injury.

2010: February 24 - Announces his retirement from Test cricket.

2011: January - After more than a year out of the international set-up through injury, Lee comes back to face England.

February-April - Is Australia's leading wicket-taker at the World Cup in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with 13 scalps.

2012: March 23 - Hits 59, his best ODI score, in a 42-run loss to West Indies.

July 7 - Picks up a calf injury in the fourth ODI against England in Durham and subsequently returns home early.

July 13 - Announces retirement from all international cricket.

PA

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