Australia in England 2012 June 26, 2012

'Blood, sweat and tears' for quicks - Lee

ESPNcricinfo staff

At 35 and having retired from Test cricket, Brett Lee stands on the verge of becoming Australia's leading wicket taker in one-day Internationals.

He insists, though, that he isn't motivated by the prospect of breaking Glenn McGrath's record of 381 wickets during the upcoming series against England - after closing the gap with two wickets against Ireland in Belfast - and in the latest edition of Alison's Tea Break he explains how he is now acting as a mentor to the younger bowlers coming through.

Speaking to host Alison Mitchell, Lee touches on the depth of fast bowling in Australia cricket at the moment, saying he is excited by what James Pattinson and Pat Cummins have to offer with a Test series against South Africa coming up later this year, followed by back-to-back Ashes.

He warns, though, of the "blood, sweat and tears" that it takes to be a fast bowler, particularly with the amount of cricket that is played now, and says that bowlers in particular must be prepared "to do what's best for the team" should management decide to rest and rotate players.

As far as Lee's own future is concerned, he has set no time frame as to when he might step away from the international scene. "As long as I'm doing my job and being an asset to the Australian cricket team and helping the young guys come through, and still enjoying my cricket, then I'll keep playing for a few more games and we'll see what happens after that. Whether that's three months or twelve months or eighteen months, who knows."

Watch the interview here.

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  • Nicholas on June 28, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    Is that "blood, sweat and tears" in the Aussie teams just, or generally speaking? If that's what's it's like for fast bowlers, then think about what it must be like for their spinners! Chopped and changed faster than Nic Pothas's underwear during games. Poor Hauritz had shown great potential, but had a run of poor form and got thrown aside for the likes of Doherty and Beer... Unbelievable!

  • John on June 27, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @exiledtyke: you make a good point, one that I've made myself, but there are other factors to consider. The first is the type of cricket played. Trueman played 67 tests and no shorter-format international games. He bowled 15.178 balls at international level. In contrast, Broad hasn't yet bowled 25.000 balls, but he has already bowled 15,085 balls in international games- 60% versus Frad's 15%. County cricket was a long grind and players didn't put in the same effort as is needed for international games. Secondly, fielding; Fred was a decent close fielder (mainly leg slip), but he didn't consider it his job to run after the ball. There aren't many players left from the pre-one day era, but the honest ones will tell you that the players now are ten times better in the field than in their day. It's a different, more high-pressure game now. If Trueman started his career today, he'd do well to bowl 50,000 balls.

  • anthony on June 27, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    hope he sticks around for a long time.

  • Effat on June 27, 2012, 10:53 GMT

    HEY LEE>>>>>> Lods of love to u......... Just wanna say be happy always..... May Allah bless U!! <3

  • Anupam on June 27, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    steyn is better than lee,bond,akhtar, harmision, malinga, sami, in the context of fitness level. other took early retirement from test cricket and suffers lots of injury which is really painful. people like you all when you bowl fast but once injury hit you all people forget you all and you all lost your rhythm, pace. please no injury to players.

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    He is one of the fines fast bowler in the world keep up the good work mate!

    Love from india!

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2012, 4:32 GMT

    Evergreen Lee....Aussies cant produce such bowler like him.

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2012, 4:28 GMT

    Mr. Dariuscorny ,you are cent persent wrong about akthar ,how can one forget that sight of fast and furious bowling spell of shoib when sachin on its own walks of without umpiee rasing his finger , this was all fear which one could feel ,who would have watching this matchon tv , i am not pakistani saying this ,

  • Dummy4 on June 27, 2012, 4:25 GMT

    He is one of the Best bowler to bowl consistently at that pace compared to others in the same period.

  • Chris on June 27, 2012, 3:23 GMT

    One incredible thing about Lee is the fact that he's 35 and is still just as fit as he's ever been and still bowling 95 mph with good control and movement. Sure he's doing it only in the short forms of the game now, but that's seriously impressive!

    And add to that he's just such a nice guy who's always got a smile on his face!

    Definitely one of the good guys of cricket.

    Lee's test stats are distorted a bit by having a couple of times he was rushed back too early from injuries and had to carry the attack when not 100%. Unfortunately with Lee, he is the sort of bowler that really struggles for any sort of impact when less than 100%. But you could never question his heart, he gave everything he had playing for Australia!

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