Meet Speaker - Brett Lee
Brett Lee is known throughout the Cricketing world as one of the fastest and most exciting pace bowlers to play the game. He has been recorded bowling at speeds of over 160km/h leaving batsmen with only a fraction of a second to react once the ball leaves his hand.
Brett was born and raised in Wollongong, New South Wales where he grew up with his family and their shared love of sports. Brett tried his hand at many sports but cricket proved to be the one that he excelled in. He had his first official game of cricket at the age of nine.
The next few years saw Brett continue his steady rise through the cricketing ranks culminating in his selection in the Australian Under-19 team for a tour of India in March ’94. A back injury soon after forced Brett to lay low for a while, but with his unwavering determination and hard work, he ensured that the injury wasn’t going to be the be all and end all of his cricketing career.
In ’97-98, Brett’s efforts were rewarded when he was selected to make his first-class debut for NSW in a Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia. It just took the one match for Brett to make an impact on the state scene, and the bruised and beaten Warriors team returned home to WA saying that the NSW Blues had perhaps discovered the fastest bowler in Australia.
Just one month later, Brett received higher honours when he was chosen to play for Australia “A” against South Africa. He took two wickets in the match, but more significantly, he managed to screw up his back again. The stress fractures from his previous injury had re-opened. This time the recovery took much longer and he was put in a brace for more than three months. “It went from my head to my bum, I looked like Frankenstein, and was bascially off my feet for 14 weeks. The rest of the season was a write off.”
But things weren’t all doom and gloom for Brett with his second back injury. Six months earlier he received a job offer from Barclay’s Menswear store to sell suits. Brett jumped at the opportunity. His employer, Richard Bowman, says, “He was taught all about sizes, fittings, fabrics and techniques. He fell straight into it. He loved clothes, and I allowed him to dress in our suit and shirts. That was the beginning of the walking public relations machine.” He continues, “Schoolgirls go nuts over him.” “…we once had a mini-riot out the front of the shop…there were girls screaming…when I heard the noise I immediately thought there had to be a pop star somewhere. I can understand how young girls adore him. He’s just so clean and keen. So pure.”
Brett made his debut for Australia in the Boxing Day Test against India 1999. He finished his first match for his country with figures of 5/47. He picked up 310 wickets from 76 Tests, joining the elite 300 Test wicket club before retiring from Test cricket early in 2010 to concentrate on the shorter forms of the game.
He also has a formidable limited-overs record – with 357 wickets from 205 ODIs, only one Australian, Glenn McGrath, has taken more wickets in ODIs. Brett has one of the best strike-rates in the world for this form of the game. His pace bowling combined with his ability as a hard hitting and determined tail end batsman make him a crowd favourite throughout Australia and the world.
Brett’s career highlights include the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year 2000, Wisden Cricketer of the Year 2006, Australian Test Player of the Year 2008 and the prestigious Allan Border Medal 2008 for the Australian Cricketer of the Year.
Brett is an enthusiastic and motivated sportsman who is grateful for all of the opportunities that have come his way. He remains a grounded person who is generous with his time in and out of cricket.
Outside of Cricket Brett has a number of other interests. He has a love of music and has formed the band White Shoe Theory and has written a number of songs with his music partner, Mick Vawdon, for their album with the hope to launch later this year. Brett also launched in India with Asha Bhosle “You’re the One” single, which he wrote the lyrics, and this went to the top of the Indian music charts.
Brett lives in Sydney and when at home he loves nothing more than spending time with his son 5 year old son Preston and family. Brett often also takes time out in his music studio or occasionally a spot of fishing on Sydney Harbour.