Brett Lee February 23, 2010

Lee set to quit Tests to prolong career

Cricinfo staff

Brett Lee could be set to follow in the footsteps of Andrew Flintoff, Jacob Oram and a number of other high-profile cricketers by retiring from Test cricket in a bid to prolong his one-day and Twenty20 career. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Lee is expected to confirm his decision this week and Cricket Australia has announced it will hold a press conference regarding Lee at the SCG on Wednesday morning.

At the age of 33, he currently lies fourth on the list of Australia's all-time Test wicket-takers, with 310 victims in 76 Tests dating back to his debut in 1999. However, he has not played a Test since suffering a stress fracture of the foot during Australia's home series defeat against South Africa at Melbourne in December 2008.

He was forced to sit out of the subsequent 2-1 victory in South Africa, before a side strain ruled him out of the entire Ashes campaign. An elbow injury then sidelined him for Australia's 2009-10 home series wins against West Indies and Pakistan.

In between injuries, he has featured prominently in Australia's one-day campaigns, including a 6-1 post-Ashes trouncing of England and a successful defence of their Champions Trophy title in South Africa. He was also Man of the Match as New South Wales beat Trinidad & Tobago to claim the inaugural Champions League Twenty20 title in Hyderabad.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Lee's decision to retire from Tests was influenced by a discussion with Flintoff, leading to speculation that he too could seek to pursue a freelance career to maximise his earnings in the final years of his career. On announcing his own Test retirement back in August, Flintoff stated that his ambition was to become the best one-day and Twenty20 player in the world.

His manager Chubby Chandler added that he would have received lucrative offers from at least four Twenty20 teams across the world this year, had he not been recuperating from knee surgery. Like Flintoff, Lee has a wide global appeal, with Bollywood connections adding to his marketability in India, and Lalit Modi, the IPL commissioner, recently stated on Twitter that Lee had committed to his 2010 contract with King's XI Punjab.

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  • Raman on February 23, 2010, 16:38 GMT

    The fact cannot be missed that in almost everycase of fast bowlers,the fitness has been a problem. Could it be due their extra efforts to achieve pace that they flog their bodies and adopt postures which are harmful to the bodies in the longrun? The only bowler[he was fast medium]who retained his playing fitness almost in his entire career was Kapil Dev.Shoaib,Flintoff,Lee.Tate,Zaheer,Munaf Patel,Oram,Bond, all of them were fast bowlers. The human body can take only that much.It is the price these players are paying for trying to achieve super pace in bowling

  • Rajaram on February 23, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    I really feel for you,Binga.If only you had played in the Ashes 2009 - as the most experienced bowler in the Aussie line-up,Australia would have won the series hands -down, and particularly at Lord's. At least at The Oval where you were fit? I wish you would make yourself available for the Ashes 2010 -11. But that is all past now.You are a hero in our eyes,Binga, and I hope you are in the 2011 World Cup Squad. Thanks,mate,for giving us so much happiness watching you - the best fast bowler in modern times.

  • madhan on February 23, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    Ya its very sad news, Lee is my favorite fast bowler in the world i like to see is yorker very much, quiteing test cricket is good idea for him to play more odi & t20 if he play more odi & t20 we can see more firey yorker from Lee, i like to see is yorkers in IPL, best wishes for Lee for is future

  • randall on February 23, 2010, 8:23 GMT

    binga is champion bowler,but sad to know that he would retire before the ashes,i would love to see him have one last crack at the poms,and retire on a high, he still has a lot of fire in the belly

  • Rajesh on February 23, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    Disappointing piece of news though for sometime this was on the cards.......... It's all the more so because at the moment more than ODI's and T20's it's Test Cricket that needs quick bowlers like Brett Lee

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    VERY SADDENIN NEWS, it was expected isnce he had siad i'm not sure i will b able 2 eva bowl again... feel sorry 4 him.... WEN I GROW UP, I IWLL TELL MY KIDS I WAS FORTUNATE ENOUGH 2 WATCH BRETT LEE BOWL... best of luck champ

  • Malik Nadeem on February 23, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Well i think thats the end of another great of modern era of fast bowling. People like Lee, Shoaib Akhtar, Flintoff and Bond borns after centuries. so test cirket will miss them absoluteley. So i wish him best of luck in his future career. and love to see all these greats of the game to play international circket again for their countries.

  • ranganathan on February 23, 2010, 7:14 GMT

    It is about time the world cricket governing body steps in to regulate and cut down frequent and non stop cricket as otherwise we will lose class cricketers like him and play with only average players

  • Uzair on February 23, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    Brett Lee is a great bowler n though he's been down with injuries since last year..But it will be a hap-hazard decision from him to quit..Hes just 33,probably 4 years of cricket still left in him and a decision like this will definitely encourage other players to shift their focus from test to the ODI's n T-2o's...Test cricket will die a slow death. Talking bout his decision even if he has decided to quit i would want him to do it after this years ASHES Series back in Australia.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Brett Lee is still the best fast bowler in Australia and the world when fit at this point.The board and cricket .A have gotton carry away a lil and forget what he has done 4 them and still can do..My prediction is it wont be long before they find out that only bollinger and Hilfenhaus are the real deal.

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