Last Friday, I woke up and I thought to myself that this is the time to go. I had plans to play in the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka and after that I was going to retire from the international arena. But I got to the stage where I just felt like the time was right to make this decision. After I made up my mind, it felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Personally, I am happy with the decision.
Honestly, it really didn’t have anything to do with the calf injury. It was disappointing to leave the game against England at Durham midway and that wasn’t the greatest way to finish a series. The calf strain isn’t as bad and it will heal in three weeks. I have had such injuries in the past and have come back from it. I always back myself to recover from the injury so this one was no different. I just felt that the time was right to leave and so my decision to retire didn’t have anything to do with the said injury. I am slowly recovering and I am trying to be ready for the Champions League that is coming up in October. It is good to be playing a bit of cricket there. I am excited about that and I am ready to go. I’ll be back bowling in the nets in a couple of weeks.
I am very happy to have received the kind of support I have. I am surrounded by a lot of good people and it’s nice to see messages and acknowledgment coming in from all quarters. A lot of people have called me, from Kevin Pietersen and Michael Vaughan to Sachin Tendulkar and all the guys around Australia. The support has been tremendous, and it has been amazing to see it.
If I’m asked which have been the great moments of my career, I’d say there are too many. From bowling to and dismissing Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara to winning the World Cup and Ashes for Australia and the Champions League for New South Wales – these are just to mention a few. But there have been others like watching Matthew Hayden score 380 against Zimbabwe at Perth, watching Glenn McGrath get a hat-trick. There are little things like that; it doesn’t have to be about your own performance. I’ve been lucky and feel blessed to have been with a great team.
The one thing I can say about my career is that I don’t have any regrets. The way I have played my cricket, there is nothing I can look back on and be ashamed of. I’ve always given my best on the field. There have been times of disappointments because of defeats or injuries but that’s part of being a professional sportsman.
Well, what’s next for me? I guess it is going to be good to keep playing a bit of cricket through the T20 League in India and also through the Big Bash League. Besides I am looking forward to being at home and spending some quality time with my family.
Thank you for all your warm wishes as I look forward to the next phase of my life.
(Brett Lee is one of the fastest bowlers in cricket history. He took 310 wickets in Tests and 380 in ODIs. The Australia legend, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders, has a deep love for India and Indians. The above article was written by Lee for Castrol, for whom is the Brand Ambassador. For more, visit castrolcricket.com. Castrol Cricket is the official performance partner of the International Cricket Council and is a sponsor of the 2012 ICC World Twenty20)