The Brett Lee debate

Before Australia played Sri Lanka in late 07 I thought Lee might be lucky to hold onto a place in the Australian side. His form was ok, as it had always been, but I figured there were other bowlers who were younger who could come in and average 32.

Then in his next 9 tests he took 58 wickets @ 21, and I thought he was the best fast bowler in the world.

He was still fast, but now he kept the pressure on, lead the attack, bowled vile inducingly long spells, stopped leaking runs, and he completely turned me around.

Before that I could take him or leave him, mostly leave. But those are numbers that make you undress and lather up.

The Mrs Lee went and rode a bronco (A bronco is a wild horse, and in Australia the term, ‘to ride a bronco’ means to leave your loved one as you believe the relationship has run its course). And Brett lost the plot.

His next 8 tests were various forms of career suicide, and his 21 wickets @ 47 sort of tell you the story, 9 of those wickets came in 6 matches against India and South Africa.

His body and mind had collapsed. He still wanted to succeed; he has always been an earnest fellow. His will to come back seemed to be overshadowed by the enormity of the task.

Lee was so determined he just kept flying to various Australian tour destinations and until he was picked again. He was the little blond engine that could.

His form in the IPL was pretty tasty, but bowling to Indian domestic players who have never seen a ball bounce above their navel is not a real challenge, the real challenge turned out to be Chris Gayle.

Lee failed, as has been his way in England.

Against Sri Lanka he failed again, this time he found ways to fuck up brilliantly crafted overs. 4 or 5 dot balls finished with wides, no balls and boundaries.

Now Australia is gearing themselves for the Ashes, and Ricky is publicly backing Brett Lee, which makes a nice change from their failing out in India.

I want to believe Brett Lee is ok, that this was just a twenty20 random grope on a train, and not a serious sexual assault that he can’t come back from.

Not because I like him, although I met him once and he was a swell fella, but because the game needs fast bowlers.

Australia has 4 proper quick bowlers including Lee, one is a ski instructor they ignore, the other is a bit of a fruit loop they have just shit canned, and the other is Mitchell Johnson.

I like fast bowlers, even the predictable gentleman kind, and if I can’t have a leg spinner, I would prefer two proper quicks.

Which Lee will make his comeback in the Ashes, the miserly demon leader or the run leaking waste of space?

Should Australia punt on Lee, with his poor record in the UK, or is it time to let him reclaim his birth right of Bollywood’s favourite white cricketer.

Usually I am so sure, but with Lee, I have already back flipped so many times my back is gone. For once I shall leave it to the selectors and Ricky, so I expect Lee to be there for the first test.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *