Bowling great Brett Lee will retire at the end of the current Big Bash League season. Picture: GETTY IMAGESHeadmits to have made more comebacks than Rambo, but Brett Lee is adamant he’ll be firing no more shots after this month.
The Australian fast-bowling great on Thursday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the end of his current Big Bash League campaign.
“It’s been an amazing and emotional 20 years – I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it,” Lee told a media conference at the SCG.
The 38-year-old called time on his international career in July 2012, but has been a Twenty20 regular – both in the BBL and the IPL – in the years since.
He said he’d decided before starting the 2014-15 season that it was going to be his last at the Sydney Sixers and was content with the decision.
“I’m not Benjamin Button,” Lee said.
“I’ve certainly had a lot more fun in the last six weeks than I’ve ever had in my life and that’s because I haven’t put any pressure upon myself.
“I knew when I bowled the first ball back at training this summer that this was going to be my last season.
“I’ve had more comebacks than Rambo, but honestly, I’m not one of those guys that will say this is it and come back in 12 months.
“I think I could play for a few more years, but I don’t want to.
“I’ve got stage two in my life coming up with my family, which is the most important. I want to put back into cricket as well, but there won’t be any comebacks after this.”
Lee remains the equal-leading wicket-taker for Australia in one-day internationals alongside Glenn McGrath, with 380 in 221 appearances at 23.36, with an economy rate of 4.76.
He also claimed 310 scalps in 76 Tests for Australia at 30.81.
The New South Welshman ranked his 1999 Test debut against India in Melbourne and playing alongside his older brother Shane in a one-day international as his greatest memories of the last two decades.
But his favourite moment in the baggy green came 10 years ago, during Australia’s unforgettable Ashes series against England.
“What that did for cricket, what that did for the people involved was [incredible],” he said, recalling his onfield battle with Andrew Flintoff.
“Even though we lost, the spirit in which it was played, the sportsmanship, the toughness – I’ve never played in a series that tough.”
Flintoff congratulated Lee on his career, but not without a cheeky dig.
“It’s about time BrettLee—58 retired he’s nearly 50 !!” he tweeted.
“Amazing cricketer and more importantly a gentleman, congrats !”
Lee will send down his final ball in either the Sixers’ final group game against cross-town rivals Sydney Thunder at the SCG next Thursday or later if they reach the finals.
“When that last ball is bowled, I’ll walk off and I’ll be happy,” he said.
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland led a flurry of tributes to Lee.
“He has been an exceptional cricketer who gained fans around the world, not only for his electrifying pace and performances with the ball, but the way that he played the game,” said Sutherland.
“Sir Donald Bradman often said that it is a player’s responsibility to leave the game in a better state than when they first became involved. Brett Lee has certainly done that.” AAP
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