Cricket Australia bungled in its handling of Brett Lee after his divorce and should not have sent the “under-prepared” pacer to last year’s tour of India,where the slump in his form started,concedes CA selection panel chief Andrew Hilditch.
“The situation with Brett was extremely difficult,there is no doubt about that and in hindsight I think a lot of people would have handled that differently,” Hilditch was quoted as saying by the ‘The Daily Telegraph’.
“But we are dealing with a 300-Test wicket bowler who came to India under-prepared for a lot of reasons unrelated to cricket and paid the price,” he added.
Lee picked up six wickets against England Lions in a tour match ahead of the Ashes to almost assure himself of a place in the playing XI for the first Test starting July 8 in Cardiff.
But prior to this,Lee had been in disarray,coping with the heartbreak of a bitter separation from his wife of two years and undergoing a fourth ankle surgery. Lee said all through the turmoil,he tried to remain calm and not let criticism affect him.
“To be perfectly honest I haven’t put any pressure on myself or stressed out in any way shape or form,” Lee said. “Yes it wasn’t great getting injured,and yes,I didn’t have the best time in India but hopefully with my experience,if you haven’t taken anything out of the last 10 years,well then you’re not a smart cricketer,” he said.
Lee said he has become smarter now and has what it takes to lead the Aussie attack consistently.
“The way I’ve played my cricket over the last two or three years is that I’ve become a smarter bowler. I’ve cherished the fact that I’m playing a new role now (following McGrath’s retirement). People might say I’ve been under pressure but I don’t look at it as being that,” he said.