New South Wales v Western Australia, Ryobi Cup, Sydney October 17, 2010

Brett Lee stakes claim for international return

ESPNcricinfo staff
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The fast bowler Brett Lee has declared himself ready for international cricket and has started his bid for a place in Australia's limited-overs squad to take on Sri Lanka later this month. Lee made a successful comeback to senior cricket on Sunday, when he collected 2 for 37 for New South Wales against Western Australia in the Ryobi Cup.

It was his first outing for his state team in almost a year, while he has not played for Australia in any format since last October. After missing the 2009 Ashes with a side strain, Lee has suffered injuries to his elbow, thumb and arm, but he has made himself available for Australia's Twenty20 against Sri Lanka on October 31 and the three ODIs that follow.

"I put my hand up, simple as that," Lee said after his economical 11-over spell for the Blues. "I'm fit, I'm playing. If they feel that I'm ready, pick me. Pick me, I'm keen to play. I wouldn't have played [the Ryobi Cup] if I didn't feel I was ready to play at this level.

"When you've had a bit of a break for a while, it's refreshing to get out there and play. I'm just really trying to enjoy my cricket this year. I've trained really hard; I'm preparing the best I possibly can. Hopefully, the rest takes care of itself. It doesn't matter who I'm playing for, I'll always go out there and give it my best shot."

Although the World Cup early next year is the major goal for Lee, he has not set any timeline on ending his limited-overs career, although he retired from first-class cricket in February. His two wickets on Sunday came from the slower ball, while his slower bouncer also caused a run-out, but he was also happy with the speed he was able to generate.

"On the slow wicket today, I felt like I hit my pace pretty well, which surprised me," Lee said. "I didn't think I would be at that level as yet, but the last two weeks I've worked really hard in the nets as far as getting that pace back to where I want it to be."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jonesy2 on October 19, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    pick him. he just proved hes fit again with good figures against world class batsmen like voges, pomerbach, ronchi

  • stickboy on October 19, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    or do indians only really like lee so much because he sang in some cheesy indian pop song???

  • Apache_Indian on October 19, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    Look @ Australia's pace-battery: Nannes, Tait, Siddle, Johnson, Lee, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris. Wow ! Did I miss any ?

  • Apache_Indian on October 19, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Good news, I'm dying to see Lee bowling in international Cricket ! But who will he replace in playing 11 ? Bollinger ? No way. Johnson ? Nops. May be, Hilfenhaus.

  • Marcio on October 19, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    @ bookie7600, I don't hate any of the cricketers you refer to, and not everyone is sitting around seething with anger at sportspeople. So what does that tell you? Hate says more about the hater than the hated. Maybe it's time you "people" practiced a little more of good old fashioned buddhist compassion and non-judgment. You might feel better for it and start appreciating the many good things about the game, even those evil, immoral Australians.

  • Marcio on October 19, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    @ sweetspot. The truth is that Indians have always exaggerated the myth of bad sportsmanship in Australians as a means to save face and gain a sense of moral superiority because they were getting thrashed most of the time. Brett Lee is far from being the only good sportsman in the Australian team - there have been numerous, and just in the current bunch Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, North, and even the fast bowlers like Hilfenhaus and Bollinger are very gentlemanly compared to many fast bowlers going round. Ricky Ponting has displayed many sporting gestures in recent years too, although many Indians seem obsessed with hating him. It might pay to reflect for a moment upon his permitting Laxman a runner in both innings in the first test (despite carrying a chronic injury into the game), a gesture that won India the game and the series. But even that will not be enough to shift the haters. More Indians than Aust's have received penalties for misbehaviour. Check out the stats.

  • bookie7600 on October 18, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    @ Nick Franklin- It is because of the arrogance that most of the Aussie players exude that ppl hate them- Nobody doubts their capabilities, but dislike them cuz they are simply ARROGANT- On the other side we love players like Brett Lee, Sachin, Flintoff, Dravid, Vettori....etc... because not only do they have immense pride in playing for their own country but they are GENUINE sportsmen who play hard on the field and are lovely Role models for others. I m an Indian and a lot of us also hate Bhajji, Sreesanth along with Ponting , Haddin , Johnson, Siddle.

  • sweetspot on October 18, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    @Nick Franklin - you bet Mate! We like Brett Lee because he exemplifies the spirit of cricket. He plays hard, but appreciates other people doing well, even against him. Lee has some other interests outside of cricket too, and doesn't look like he will die if Australia lose. The very least others in the team can do is learn to smile as much as him. Oh, now, we don't want the fake smiles either. Lee is for real, and is an endearing bloke. Please Australia, produce more decent chaps like him.

  • sweetspot on October 18, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    Lee's a fantastic character, one of the few true sportsmen in the game. He's a very very good bowler of course, but the sad part about his generation is that they are all hittable. They cannot sustain their hostile penetrative edges for very long. Let's hope Lee's body holds up. Even a nearly fit Lee is more fun than many other angry looking bowlers who're nowhere near as good as him.

  • Aussasinator on October 18, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    It will be good for Auystralia to have him back. But good for just a couple of matches before he goes back injured again. he should realise his time was up long back and shift to IPL like Shaun tait.

  • jonesy2 on October 19, 2010, 5:41 GMT

    pick him. he just proved hes fit again with good figures against world class batsmen like voges, pomerbach, ronchi

  • stickboy on October 19, 2010, 5:13 GMT

    or do indians only really like lee so much because he sang in some cheesy indian pop song???

  • Apache_Indian on October 19, 2010, 5:06 GMT

    Look @ Australia's pace-battery: Nannes, Tait, Siddle, Johnson, Lee, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, Ryan Harris. Wow ! Did I miss any ?

  • Apache_Indian on October 19, 2010, 5:03 GMT

    Good news, I'm dying to see Lee bowling in international Cricket ! But who will he replace in playing 11 ? Bollinger ? No way. Johnson ? Nops. May be, Hilfenhaus.

  • Marcio on October 19, 2010, 3:25 GMT

    @ bookie7600, I don't hate any of the cricketers you refer to, and not everyone is sitting around seething with anger at sportspeople. So what does that tell you? Hate says more about the hater than the hated. Maybe it's time you "people" practiced a little more of good old fashioned buddhist compassion and non-judgment. You might feel better for it and start appreciating the many good things about the game, even those evil, immoral Australians.

  • Marcio on October 19, 2010, 2:02 GMT

    @ sweetspot. The truth is that Indians have always exaggerated the myth of bad sportsmanship in Australians as a means to save face and gain a sense of moral superiority because they were getting thrashed most of the time. Brett Lee is far from being the only good sportsman in the Australian team - there have been numerous, and just in the current bunch Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, North, and even the fast bowlers like Hilfenhaus and Bollinger are very gentlemanly compared to many fast bowlers going round. Ricky Ponting has displayed many sporting gestures in recent years too, although many Indians seem obsessed with hating him. It might pay to reflect for a moment upon his permitting Laxman a runner in both innings in the first test (despite carrying a chronic injury into the game), a gesture that won India the game and the series. But even that will not be enough to shift the haters. More Indians than Aust's have received penalties for misbehaviour. Check out the stats.

  • bookie7600 on October 18, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    @ Nick Franklin- It is because of the arrogance that most of the Aussie players exude that ppl hate them- Nobody doubts their capabilities, but dislike them cuz they are simply ARROGANT- On the other side we love players like Brett Lee, Sachin, Flintoff, Dravid, Vettori....etc... because not only do they have immense pride in playing for their own country but they are GENUINE sportsmen who play hard on the field and are lovely Role models for others. I m an Indian and a lot of us also hate Bhajji, Sreesanth along with Ponting , Haddin , Johnson, Siddle.

  • sweetspot on October 18, 2010, 19:09 GMT

    @Nick Franklin - you bet Mate! We like Brett Lee because he exemplifies the spirit of cricket. He plays hard, but appreciates other people doing well, even against him. Lee has some other interests outside of cricket too, and doesn't look like he will die if Australia lose. The very least others in the team can do is learn to smile as much as him. Oh, now, we don't want the fake smiles either. Lee is for real, and is an endearing bloke. Please Australia, produce more decent chaps like him.

  • sweetspot on October 18, 2010, 19:05 GMT

    Lee's a fantastic character, one of the few true sportsmen in the game. He's a very very good bowler of course, but the sad part about his generation is that they are all hittable. They cannot sustain their hostile penetrative edges for very long. Let's hope Lee's body holds up. Even a nearly fit Lee is more fun than many other angry looking bowlers who're nowhere near as good as him.

  • Aussasinator on October 18, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    It will be good for Auystralia to have him back. But good for just a couple of matches before he goes back injured again. he should realise his time was up long back and shift to IPL like Shaun tait.

  • on October 18, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    M eagerly waiting for Brett's return!!! Australia is missing that spark which i think will be back with Brett.... Missed him!!! Hope the Australian selectors select him for the tour of Srilanka and also for Ashes!!! Go get em Brett......

  • on October 18, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Lee... Nanes... Dougie Bollinger.. Tait... P Siddle... and Ben Hilfy... Who says Australia has lost quality Pacemen...

  • uperwala on October 18, 2010, 14:07 GMT

    Lee, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus, Johnson -- Wow -- That will be some attack

  • raveen_ds on October 18, 2010, 10:23 GMT

    lee, nannes and tait in the same team ... ouch. back it up with watson, hopes, steve smith and clarke if necessary, and it's looking like a pretty formidable attack ...

  • on October 18, 2010, 9:06 GMT

    @ Vilander, buddy..Sorry about commenting Malinga and Rubel as super fast bowlers but what i really meant is they are promising upcoming bowlers who can generate pace,swing,toe crushing yorkers to slow yorkers,changes of pace, deadly bouncers , which makes them ''Super- Fast bowlers'' with the addition of Slingy action. A K A the Slinger's Club ( Tait, Malinga,JohnsonRubel) all great bowlers in the cricket world.Lee and Shoaib Akthar are legends.

  • AB99 on October 18, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    He should be taken in the team for Ashes - even at 50% he is better than Peter George. However, Ponting does not seem to like him (Mohali 2008) when he did not give him any bowling for a session ...

  • Vindaliew on October 18, 2010, 6:18 GMT

    It would be great to see Brett Lee back in action. When Australia lost McGrath and Warne everyone was looking to Brett Lee to spearhead the attack, but it almost feels like Australia have lost Lee too. Imagine if Lee was in India a couple of weeks ago, might the result have been a bit different? Hilfenhaus and Bollinger should probably stay in, but Johnson has been living off his South African success for a while now, and could probably do with a rest. With Lee in the team an injury to a seamer would not throw the entire Australian attack into disarray.

  • skkh on October 18, 2010, 6:09 GMT

    Srinivas Vallabhaneni..Moron get your facts right. Lee retired from test cricket and not from the shorter version.

  • squidhead on October 18, 2010, 6:03 GMT

    Part of me wishes he would just up and quit for his own sake. The amount of work he has done, the number of times he has put his hand up for Australia only to be ignored or run in into the ground...more heart than brain, that boy. No, you don't get a spot in the team just for effort but unfortunately the selectors don't seem to realise that he might still be pretty damn good at what he does. I want to think he's still a chance to make it back to the top level but I'll eat my hat if it happens. One of many, many Aussie players who deserved better.

  • sanzo5 on October 18, 2010, 5:38 GMT

    come back soon brett... brett vs sachin and akhtar vs tendulkar..... cant wait to see that exciting encounter....

  • on October 18, 2010, 5:17 GMT

    Lee has joined club of pakistan fast men who retire and come back alive after doing good in their local leagues...Lee atleast u should have understood that International cricket is different ball game...;-)

  • on October 18, 2010, 4:44 GMT

    A fit and firing Lee is good news for Australia. One of the reasons why Austalia beat England 6-1 in the last one day series after the Ashes was the good bowling of Brett Lee who was able to reverse the ball at close to 150km. He is a wicket taking bowler something that Australia have not had in recent times as their stocks have come down in the cricketing world. It could also mean that Australia can have the luxury of different bowlers in different formats of the game . Tait and Lee together can be a big advantage. A spate of injuries has really put Australia on the back foot over the last couple of years and I am sure they can do with all the good news they can get . In the sub continent if Lee can play, it will mean a great deal to Australia for he is one of the few who can reverse swing and at a great pace. Lets hope he stays fit. He deserves all the good luck he can get. Sridhar

  • on October 18, 2010, 4:18 GMT

    Ah ! Now there u go ! A Brett Lee in full form for the World cup will be a Big Worry for all Opposing Teams......

  • on October 18, 2010, 1:49 GMT

    Best wishes to Bret Lee . One always knew that he was trying to get a wicket with every ball he bowled . 100% effort every time at every thing in Cricket .

  • landl47 on October 17, 2010, 23:52 GMT

    All Australia need now is for McGrath and Warne to make a comeback and they'll be right back to where they were in 2006.... not!

  • on October 17, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    get him back for the ashes..the new lot aint good enough..enough said

  • on October 17, 2010, 21:32 GMT

    As an Aussie, reading these comments, I t makes me happy, as Aussie cricketers get bashed on the comments all time, but it just shows, Brett is a nice bloke, and popular guy. As a young fast bowler, he is an idol. I wish him the best of luck, and hope he makes the WC.

  • Vilander on October 17, 2010, 20:24 GMT

    osanda gunaratna - Malinga and Rubel are not super fast sorry.

  • on October 17, 2010, 18:28 GMT

    The one bowler who can revive the bowling attack is coming back. Aus can't ask for more and include him in the squad right away!

  • on October 17, 2010, 18:01 GMT

    At last Brett Lee has finally come fit. The main problem was that he played Engald 7 odis in last years summer and then no break then a Champions Trophy where he then had no break and then played the Champions LeagueT20 now if you play the 3 series back to back with no break, after coming of an injury, then I kinda think that he has his own fault, but now coming after an year i'am so glad that Shoaib Aktar and Brett Lee will tohether be seen in The Pakistan vs Australia match in the World Cup 2011. Thank god he's not playing the test then who know he might be injured again and then be injured for the World Cup '11

  • on October 17, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    i want Lee to make a come back in the international arena .. he is a great bowler.. moreover he is a great sportsperson . i want to see him finish his career on a high note . this is his last chance , i wish he stays fit and give world of cricket, some moments to cherish. we are starving to see some top class fast bowling, i hope that he fulfills our hunger. Aussies needs hi . GO lee GO

  • Maestro_of_Cricket on October 17, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Well, Brett surely has some records to set straight against Sri Lanka. He MUST grab this chance to do that. His career bowling average in ODIs is 23.01 with an economy rate of 4.71, but against SL, his avg climbs to 38.23 with an economy of 4.94. Against SL in his home conditions, the statistics get even worse as the avg is 42.69! His strike rate against SL is a lot worse than that of his career too. Hard to believe this as SL is supposed to be humbled by pace at all times, but this is the truth. So Brett, get yourself some pride this time around...

  • mits6 on October 17, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    great player , great person.........

  • on October 17, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    maybe his comeback to the Australian side will boost their bowling attack......

  • Sukhboy on October 17, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    yhehe gonna see breet lee back.. as a fast bowler i like breet and akhter back and bowl really fast which pierched the batsman..cheers

  • on October 17, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    Wat a comeback by Brett Lee!! hope CA saw his performance n picks him for the sri lanka series. His hard work is showing off now. Bst of luck to him n hope he can play the WC 2011 for the aussies. :)

  • on October 17, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Welcome back Mr. Lee. It'll be good to see you back in the Australian Squad. Hope you stay fit at least until the WC.

  • on October 17, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Brett Lee will be seen in action 31st October against Sri Lanka in a T2OI, and he will be part later on in the ODIs as well,his performance in the comeback fitness test match for NSW vs WA went smoothly as Lee would have wanted with figures of 2-37 in 11 overs, its great to see the vetran aussie paceman back with top form with Shoaib Akthar also in action in International cricket, but lot will miss the Mr Bond, Shane Bond who recently retired from all form of cricket, it would be a treat to see all three Bullet train legends in the WC but its like we can be hopeful of Lee and Akthar who fighted with pace and fire for almost a decade.Shaun Tait,Malinga,Rubel Hossain and Dirk Nannes are the next super fast bowlers to look out.Aussies will want Lee to be fit for the WC as he will add extra value to the team on a quest of winning a fourth straight WC.

  • boris6491 on October 17, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Good on him. He has always been a champion bowler and typifies the Australian attitude of 'never say die'. After having achieved what he has, it would have been very easy to shut up shop and call time on his career. It is such a boon to Australia that he is fit and raring to go again. Undoubtedly, when he hits his straps, he is the best bowler we have. I hope the selectors pick him for the upcoming SL ODI series despite his lack of match practice. He still has a bit left in him that he can offer the national side. All the best Brett!

  • Viper2.0 on October 17, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    Hope this time he stays injury free!!

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  • Viper2.0 on October 17, 2010, 14:01 GMT

    Hope this time he stays injury free!!

  • boris6491 on October 17, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Good on him. He has always been a champion bowler and typifies the Australian attitude of 'never say die'. After having achieved what he has, it would have been very easy to shut up shop and call time on his career. It is such a boon to Australia that he is fit and raring to go again. Undoubtedly, when he hits his straps, he is the best bowler we have. I hope the selectors pick him for the upcoming SL ODI series despite his lack of match practice. He still has a bit left in him that he can offer the national side. All the best Brett!

  • on October 17, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Brett Lee will be seen in action 31st October against Sri Lanka in a T2OI, and he will be part later on in the ODIs as well,his performance in the comeback fitness test match for NSW vs WA went smoothly as Lee would have wanted with figures of 2-37 in 11 overs, its great to see the vetran aussie paceman back with top form with Shoaib Akthar also in action in International cricket, but lot will miss the Mr Bond, Shane Bond who recently retired from all form of cricket, it would be a treat to see all three Bullet train legends in the WC but its like we can be hopeful of Lee and Akthar who fighted with pace and fire for almost a decade.Shaun Tait,Malinga,Rubel Hossain and Dirk Nannes are the next super fast bowlers to look out.Aussies will want Lee to be fit for the WC as he will add extra value to the team on a quest of winning a fourth straight WC.

  • on October 17, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    Welcome back Mr. Lee. It'll be good to see you back in the Australian Squad. Hope you stay fit at least until the WC.

  • on October 17, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    Wat a comeback by Brett Lee!! hope CA saw his performance n picks him for the sri lanka series. His hard work is showing off now. Bst of luck to him n hope he can play the WC 2011 for the aussies. :)

  • Sukhboy on October 17, 2010, 15:10 GMT

    yhehe gonna see breet lee back.. as a fast bowler i like breet and akhter back and bowl really fast which pierched the batsman..cheers

  • on October 17, 2010, 15:19 GMT

    maybe his comeback to the Australian side will boost their bowling attack......

  • mits6 on October 17, 2010, 16:24 GMT

    great player , great person.........

  • Maestro_of_Cricket on October 17, 2010, 16:27 GMT

    Well, Brett surely has some records to set straight against Sri Lanka. He MUST grab this chance to do that. His career bowling average in ODIs is 23.01 with an economy rate of 4.71, but against SL, his avg climbs to 38.23 with an economy of 4.94. Against SL in his home conditions, the statistics get even worse as the avg is 42.69! His strike rate against SL is a lot worse than that of his career too. Hard to believe this as SL is supposed to be humbled by pace at all times, but this is the truth. So Brett, get yourself some pride this time around...

  • on October 17, 2010, 17:49 GMT

    i want Lee to make a come back in the international arena .. he is a great bowler.. moreover he is a great sportsperson . i want to see him finish his career on a high note . this is his last chance , i wish he stays fit and give world of cricket, some moments to cherish. we are starving to see some top class fast bowling, i hope that he fulfills our hunger. Aussies needs hi . GO lee GO