Australian speedster Brett Lee officially announced his retirement from international cricket at a press conference today but has declared his intention to play on in the Big Bash League and the IPL.
Lee, 35, had originally planned to retire after the ICC World Twenty20 in September, but after flying home early from the ODI series in England due to a calf injury, he decided the time was right to make way for Australia’s young fast bowlers.
He will depart the game as the equal leading wicket taker for Australia in one-day internationals, having moved level with Glenn McGrath on 380 victims, although McGrath also took one wicket for the ICC World XI, taking his career tally to 381.
Lee retired from Test cricket in February 2010, but remained a valuable player in the shorter formats, for his country and his various domestic teams around the world.
Lee’s final appearance for Australia came in Durham last week, when he hurt his calf while bowling the third over of his 221st one-day international. Lee said he wondered as he was clapped off whether it would be the end of his international career, and he made his decision Friday morning before making the retirement official with an announcement at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“I guess you ask yourself a lot of questions when you’ve been injured or been through a tough time,” Lee said. “It’s been the last two or three nights I have thought about it a lot. I woke up this morning and I knew this was the right day to do it.
“In a team environment you have to be committed 100 per cent, both mentally and physically. Looking at the next two months I just didn’t have that desire any more. It wouldn’t be fair on me or the rest of the team if I was to go over there with that attitude – not lack of commitment, but you just get to a point in your life when you decide enough is enough.”
Lee made his debut for Australia in the 1999 Boxing Day Test against India and he will retire as international cricket’s tenth leading wicket taker of all time, with 718 victims across all three formats. He took 310 wickets in 76 Tests. Lee has been involved in a World Cup triumph in 2003 and three successful Ashes campaigns. (Cricinfo)