Brett Lee & his love for India

Brett Lee, one of cricket’s most prolific personalities, announced his retirement from international cricket on Friday. Recipient of the prestigious Allan Border Medal and a former Test Player of the Year—the blond speedster has amassed over 300 Test wickets, and continues to add more feathers to his cap. Tearing in at around 160 kilometres an hour, ‘Binga’ has dented many a helmet and inspired fear in the best batsmen.

My Life is his story—honest, engaging, and laced with charming wit. The book takes you inside the dressing room and sheds light on the highs and lows of the game—the pride of possessing a baggy green, the camaraderie between the boys, superstardom, and the inevitable controversies. It provides a glimpse into the life of one of Australia’s most successful fast bowlers and his love for music, fashion, and above all India.

Brett Lee on India:
“There is so much colour and diversity that you could go back to India every day for as long as you lived and experience something different every single time. In India, anything can happen, and usually does; that’s why I love it so much, and will never tire of going there”

Brett Lee on IPL:
“When I first arrived in Mohali for the competition I didn’t know what to expect. I don’t think any player did. Fireworks, cheerleaders, and loud music were all gimmicks that westerners were used to, but how would they go in India?...I was only able to play four games for the Kings XI before I had to link up with the Australian team for a tour of the West Indies. I experienced enough during those matches to be confident the IPL was going to help shape the future of International cricket. It was a pioneering T20 tournament that is now being mirrored by other countries across the world.  T20 is definitely here to stay because it’s what the crowd wants. It’s full-on action with a party atmosphere under lights for three hours....Apart from playing, one of the things I loved about the IPL was the cross-section of cultures in the competition...It was fantastic to spend time with guys I’d played against internationally yet didn’t really know. I hope it doesn’t sound strange to say it was wonderful to hug the guys when we celebrated wickets or wins. In bringing us together, the IPL also brought cricket together”

Brett Lee on Sachin Tendulkar:
“...There was one batsman I couldn’t get out: Sachin Tendulkar. He got a century in the first innings and a 50 in the second. I was amazed at how good he was. When he came out to bat I felt the energy lift in the field and crowd. Any fans of the comedy movie Spinal Tap might understand my efforts against Sachin in this way: you have a volume level of one to 10, 10 being the loudest, but then you have an 11, which is for super loud. I found I tried to do the same when I bowled to Sachin; I looked to find an extra notch that I didn’t know I had. I don’t really know how it happened, but it just did. I did the same against Brian Lara later in my career.  Extra notch or not, it made no difference against Sachin. No matter how fast I bowled, he seemed to have all the time in the world, and he had incredible wrists that could turn the ball on any angle, especially from outside off through midwicket and backward square leg. There was simply no margin for error in my bowling. I had to pitch on a good length on a fourth and fifth stump line in that corridor of uncertainty. Anything away from this was generally runs. He was just too good.”

Brett Lee on VVS Laxman:
“I’ve already spoken about Sachin’s brilliance, but on his day VVS was every bit as incredible. Like Sachin, his wrist work meant he could place balls to a number of different spots in the field, and his timing and ability to hit the ball on the up were as good as any player in the game, and surely throughout history too.”