15 January 2015 :Â Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has announced his retirement from cricket.
He quit internationals in July 2012 as his country’s fourth-highest Test wicket-taker – with 310 in 76 matches – and has focused on Twenty20 cricket in recent years.
Lee, who took 380 one-day international wickets, made the announcement at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
“It’s been an amazing and emotional 20 years and I’ve enjoyed every single moment of it,” said the 38-year-old.
Only Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee took more Test match wickets for Australia than Lee, who was nicknamed Bing.
He remains the joint leading wicket-taker for Australia in one-day internationals alongside McGrath.
“I’m excited and emotional, certainly happy that I’ve made the right decision,” Lee added.
“I knew before this season it was going to be my last season.
“I didn’t bother doing the maths but 20 years is a lot of ice baths, a lot of training sessions, a lot balls bowled and a lot of flights – but it’s given me so many great memories.”
Lee described the 2005 Ashes in England as his favourite Test series – despite Australia’s defeat.
He was a central figure in the Australia sides that dominated world cricket in the 1990s and 2000s, and won the World Cup in 2003, as well as three of the four Ashes series he took part in.
“He has been an exceptional cricketer who gained fans around the world, not only for his electrifying pace and performances with the ball, but [for] the way that he played the game,” said Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland.
Cricket writer Andrew Ramsey said on Cricket Australia’s website that few cricketers had endured like Lee, “through a remarkable career”.
Ramsey said it was noteworthy that Lee, “a world-class exponent of cricket’s most gruelling job – the express-pace fast bowler”, continued to play past his 38th birthday while remaining a match-winner and a draw for cricket fans.
“The records that Lee takes with him into retirement… are considerable and would doubtless be evaluated as even more so if he had not played in the era of bowling greats, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.”
Source : BBC Sport