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
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.
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?
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
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
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?!