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Lee stands by Gilbert criticism despite report

Daniel Brettig

December 28, 2012

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Brett Lee announced his international retirement at the SCG, Sydney, July 13, 2012
Brett Lee has been reported by Cricket New South Wales © Getty Images

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

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Posted by zenboomerang on (December 31, 2012, 4:01 GMT)

Commented a number of times on CNSW issues with management weakness & lack of planning... Like CWA, coaches & captains fall on their swords while management live with their heads in the ground yet earning big money for little output...

Lee deserves full support from the players association & bring about some level playing field for players & coaches against a CA legal nightmare that leaves them without the ability to make any open & questioning remarks...

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 22:30 GMT)

So Brett Lee is bitten by the officiousness of Australian cricket. Why does Cricket Australia disallow public debate? It should charge itself with making rules that are detrimental to the game. Lee was actually thinking of the interests of cricket when he made his statement.

Posted by SpadeaSpade on (December 29, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

Good onta Binga , If you get the chance to speak face to face with any CA official be sured to let them know that the bowling rotation policy is bringing the game into disrepute and not in the best interests of australia cricket.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 5:26 GMT)

Good for you Brett Lee about time someone had the guts to stand against these pompous asses who control cricket.They think they are a law of their own, It is no news about all the top names who have left NSW Cricket to go to greener pastures. Maybe Gilbert should be sent out to pastures.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 5:25 GMT)

Good for you Brett Lee about time someone had the guts to stand against these pompous asses who control cricket.They think they are a law of their own, It is no news about all the top names who have left NSW Cricket to go to greener pastures. Maybe Gilbert should be sent out to pastures.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 4:40 GMT)

Lee has bled his heart out for CA and CNSW - the least they can do is listen to someone who is speaking frankly, from the bottom of his heart to make things better.

Posted by   on (December 29, 2012, 1:51 GMT)

Good on Bret Lee for calling a spade a spade. I agree with landl47 that management should not hide behind the clauses that were designed to protect the game and not poor performance. Gilbert and co should step up to the plate and take an objective look at the hard cold facts. Better yet resign and let someone more competent run Cricket NSW.

Posted by glance_to_leg on (December 28, 2012, 23:38 GMT)

Always a great competitor, always a charming man, always played with a smile, and a model of sportsmanship. This is not some petulant prima donna shooting his mouth off, but a mature, highly successful cricketer at the end of his career. He is no longer contracted to NSW so why on earth should he not be critical in public? Were he undermining team mates or his own management, he should keep quiet, but instead he seems to be making forthright, but far from unreasonable criticism.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 28, 2012, 23:35 GMT)

So Australia is a democracy but we are not allowed to air our views and must toe the admin??

Posted by Wozza-CY on (December 28, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

Good onya Bing. Why can't he say his piece? Clearly something is wrong in the administration of NSW. If you made up a team of disgruntled players that have left NSW to become permanent fixtures elsewhere it would read Cowan, Hughes, Khwaja, Forest, Christian, Hastings, Hogan, Lyon & Bird. That is just a little bit alarming if you ask me.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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