ICC goes down under
Australia's Brett Lee in soup?

Contrary to what it might seem, the ICC has more on its hands than just wading its way through the match-fixing story. The latest on the agenda is Australian paceman, Brett Lee's case. For the uninitiated, this youngster is not just a promising cricketer but was also named last week, as Wisden's young player of the year. In fact, he made his Test debut against India itself in March.

No, Lee (thankfully) has not qualified (as yet?) as yet another suspect for boogieing with the bookies. Instead, his story has more to do with a suspect bowling action. It dates back to four months ago, when Lee was reported to the ICC for throwing during Australia's tour of New Zealand in March. Yet, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) was told only this Monday, on the 10th of July. Lee, of course was shocked by the news. However, he seemed rather sure that he would be cleared, "I've got nothing to hide. As far as I am concerned, my action is pure."

The sad part, though is, the way the entire matter has been handled by the ICC. "We are very disappointed with how this has been handled and have said so to the ICC," said ACB Chief Executive, Malcolm Speed. "We have no concern whatsoever with Brett's action. Our intention is to mount the strongest, most compelling and comprehensive case possible to address any doubts that others may hold regarding Brett's action." The ICC, has supposedly not provided any specific details whatsoever on Lee's alleged problem except to say it was only with the 'occasional' ball.

Brett's case appears to get even stronger as Australian Prime Minister John Howard has virtually given him a clean chit, adding to say, "I think he (Lee) is a fantastic bowler." To top that, Australian Cricket Board executive, Malcolm Speed and Captain Steve Waugh to have strongly defended Lee's action. That, of course was quite expected. Yet, what clearly stands in Lee's favour is the fact that even if ICC's 10 member illegal deliveries panel finds something amiss in his action, the only action that they can take is to refer the matter to the ACB. The question that still lurks in mind still is regarding cause behind the ICC's callous attitude towards this episode. Was it a case of too many problems, too little time? Or was it the high priority match fixing drama that zapped them of their energy?

Musically yours, Lee.
Brett Lee cuts an album! 

We all know that music has always been a cure for stress. Music has a therapeutic effect that only few can deny. When it comes to Australian bowler Brett Lee, music and cricket are his two passions that his heart reaches out to. No kidding, the guy plays for a rock group Six and Out!

Brett Lee was just on the threshold of proving his potential, when the ICC claimed that his action was faulty. It was quite commendable how the entire Australian nation including the President himself came to his rescue. Now, however things have been cleared out, and Lee is back into action ( no pun intended ! ) Yet ever wondered how this youngster, and good looking at that coped with all the stress involved in being kept hanging in wait for a decision from the all important ICC? Well, music came to the rescue.

The ICC judgment took months before it notified the Australian Cricket board; and then again its mismanagement of the case was much talked about. Lee on the other hand, was quite literally, playing his own tune! Lee and the other band members which includes brother Shane, of the rock group Six and Out, were busy doing the rounds of the recording studios. "I've taken my mind completely off cricket," says Lee. "That's where I've been lucky. I've had music and I've had work. So, I haven't been sitting at home worrying what's going to happen if I were charged with this allegation. With stuff going on right now it's just good to go into the studio and strum out a few chords. It just takes your mind off what's going on."

Six and Out is cutting a CD which is due for release this October. Though the rock band might never make musical history, it will be quite a treat for the New south Wales Cricketers. "Because we play a little bit of cricket, it makes it a lot easier to get our foot in the door."

Music, cricket and .. what else but fashion! Brett Lee sure has taken his mind off the game. Lee reports for work each morning at the Menswear company in Sydney's central business district. Lee attends in thorough fashion to those who want to wear the latest labels. Cashing in on his 'label' of The International Cricketer of the Year, are you Brett?!