Brett Lee stakes claim for international return

Brett Lee celebrates a wicket Getty Images

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."