Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lee is not thinking of retirement

Fragile speedster Brett Lee says he is in no mood to hang his boots and will continue playing as long as his body permits.
A rib injury forced Lee to miss last month's entire Ashes series, which Australia lost 1-2 on English soil. But the speedster said he had nothing to prove before anyone.

"I'm not even thinking about the end at this point in time. I don't think have to prove anything, I've been playing cricket for Australia for 10 years and hopefully proved myself enough," he was quoted as saying by The Age.

"I'm enjoying my cricket, every opportunity I get. I'm not even thinking about the schedule when I've been on the sideline for three or four months watching a lot of cricket - I struggled to watch. Maybe in 12-18 months down the track I might have to have a look," he said.

"I don't look at 32 as being old as a cricketer. I have missed a bit of cricket through the odd injury here and there through the past 10 years," he added. .

The 32-year-old New South Wales pacer, however, expressed disappointment of not getting a single opportunity during the Ashes series and said he was fit enough to turn out for Australia in the fourth and final Tests.

"I was available to go for the fourth and fifth Test but it didn't work out with the mix and make-up of the team. It's unfortunate I didn't play an Ashes Test over here," Lee said.

"I was disappointed to say the least. I did declare my fitness for the fourth Test match, that's all I can do, front up to training. I would have loved to play that fourth and fifth Test.

"The thing I can only say is I know when I'm right to go.

I know I was 100 per cent fit. It just wasn't the case. People thought otherwise, it's behind me. I haven't taken any ill feeling about it," he added.
"T20 has helped me brush up my skills"
Twenty20 might be considered a bowler's nightmare but for the Australian speedster it is a format which has helped him finetune his skills.

"Twenty20 has developed a range of new skills. The yorker, slower ball and slower ball bouncer have all become more regular," Lee told PTI in an e-mail interview.

"Also, the first ball six when batting is required more often!" he quipped.

Lee will be in India next month to play for New South Wales in the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 tournament.

The high-profile tournament will be held at three venues -- New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad -- from October 8 to 23.

The pacer said teams without stars are likely to do better than the star-studded ones in the tournament as there won't be any pressure on them.

"I think teams that don't feature the 'stars' will have an advantage in this tournament. There is more pressure on the teams that are expected to win! We have a good balance in the NSW Team," he said.

The 32-year-old speedster, who is battling to save his place in the Australian Test side after a string of ordinary performances and injuries, said he likes to intimidate batsmen to get the psychological edge.

"If most batsmen don't like facing me then this is an obvious advantage. Anything that puts other thoughts into a batsman's head is only going to assist the bowler. Like any bowler, I gain confidence if I know I am attacking a batsman," Lee said.

His love for all things Indian is well known and Lee says it is fun to play in the country where noisy spectators add excitement to the proceedings.

"The Indian spectator is one of the most knowledgeable of all cricket crowds. They are passionate but support good play, a little more for an Indian player though. I love the constant noise when playing in India," he said.

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