Brett Lee might not play again. The Times report said the news 'may act as a filip for England'. I disagree, and I think the England players would too. The odd beamer aside, Lee has been an exemplary opponent and the kind of bowler you'd tell your grandchildren about facing.
Australia may remember him for other things, but in England it will be for 2005, where, Warne apart, he was the man who came closest to changing history. There was the innings at Edgbaston of course, and the howitzer that removed Flintoff during the hide-behind-the-sofa run chase at Trent Bridge. And then there was the spell he bowled at Kevin Pietersen either side of lunch on that deathless last day at the Oval, one of the epic passages of modern Test match cricket.
As Pietersen said later, 'I knew it was me or him.' It was KP in the end, but it was nearly Lee, and then who knows what might have happened. He bowled brutally quickly, and it took a genius like Pietersen to counter-attack him. Both touched greatness then.
There was another spell too, perhaps the last we'll see of him, in the warm-up game at Worcester last summer, when it looked like he'd bowled his way back into the Test side. Again he hit that level of pace where the smallest increments of swing or seam on any one delivery made it effectively unplayable.
Recently in Australia there was a horrible series of racist beatings carried out on Indian students by dimwit up-country shit-kickers. It was Lee that the Government asked to make a broadcast to India to say that not all Australians were like that. They're not and Brett Lee is not.
'I may never bowl another ball,' he said, 'and if that's the case, then I'm so satisfied with my career and my longevity'. He left nothing behind out there, he was a worthy foe.
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