Brett Lee © Getty Images
Brett Lee took well over 700 wickets across formats in his international career © Getty Images

Nov 8, 2014

Born on November 8, 1976, Brett Lee celebrated his 38th birthday on Saturday. Lee, also known as ‘Binga’ to his teammates, was perhaps the fastest bowler of his generation. He and Pakistani pacer Shoaib Akhtar were famous for wanting to out-do each other in the pace department. While Akhtar might have been just a bit pacier, Lee was by far the more disciplined of the two — both on the field and especially off it.

Lee was a prolific wicket-taker for Australia in all three formats of the game with over 700 wickets across formats. Also a more than handy batsman, he averaged over 20 with the bat in Tests, scoring five half-centuries. His ODI batting average too was impressive for someone batting as low as he would at 17.81 with three fifties. He also took the first ever T20I hat-trick.

Brett Lee M Wickets Ave SR 4-fors 5-fors
ODIs 221 380 23.36 29.4 14 9
Tests 76 310 30.81 53.3 17 10
T20Is 25 28 25.5 19.4 0 0

Lee was, and perhaps still is, one of Australia’s most popular cricketers in the last couple of decades. Known for being an aggressive competitor on the field, he was equally charming and good-humoured off it. It is a little-known fact that Lee was a member of a rock band called “Six & Out” along with fellow New South Wales First-Class cricketers Shane Lee (his brother), Richard Chee Quee, Brad McNamara, and Gavin Robertson.

Lee made his Test debut against India in 1999, taking five for 47 and two for 31 at Melbourne, though he went wicketless on his ODI debut against Pakistan in 2000. He played for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Lee’s older brother Shane also played 45 ODIs for Australia, but was unable to cement his place in the side.