Australia news December 28, 2012

Lee stands by Gilbert criticism despite report

Brett Lee is standing by his stinging criticism of Cricket New South Wales and its chief executive David Gilbert despite being ordered to face a Cricket Australia disciplinary hearing after being reported for allegedly breaching the Code of Behaviour during an interview. Lee has been reported by Cricket New South Wales following the interview he gave Fairfax Media last weekend, in which he said Gilbert should be sacked.

Lee was critical of Gilbert's handling of the termination of coach Anthony Stuart's contract and also of the way Lee himself had been treated during the final stages of his state career. Although Lee is no longer contracted as a New South Wales player he is playing in the Big Bash League and thus remains bound by Cricket Australia's Code of Behaviour.

Speaking after the charge and hearing were announced, Lee said he was not backing down from his comments, stating he had taken the decision to say what many in NSW were thinking about the recent travails of cricket in the state.

"What I said I meant," Lee told Channel Nine. "I did it in the best interests of NSW cricket. I've loved playing every moment for NSW and I feel in the last five or six years it's gone off the boil. Losing all these players, there's a lot of people that thought it but didn't want to say it so I took the leadership to stand up and I believe it should start right from the top and that's why I mentioned David Gilbert.

"There's a lot of changes that need to happen to improve NSW cricket and I'll stand by what I said. I'm going next week for a hearing from NSW cricket because I can then express my views and the reasons why I said this.

"I'll be looking forward to getting there and having a chat to the guys, whether it's the commissioner or whoever it might be just to give my thoughts on how NSW cricket can improve. I said it out of the kindness of my own heart, I want to see NSW cricket strong again, I believe it's fallen off the pace a bit."

Lee is alleged to have breached Rule 6, regarding unbecoming behaviour, as well as Rule 9, which deals with detrimental public comment. Rule 6 states that players and officials "must not at any time engage in behaviour unbecoming to a representative player or official that could (a) bring them or the game of game into disrepute or (b) be harmful to the interests of cricket".

Rule 9 states that players and officials "must not make public or media comment which is detrimental to the interest of the game".

A date and time for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments