I was unsure if any team wanted me in first IPL auction: Brett Lee

Brett Lee was bought by Kings XI Punjab in the inaugural IPL auction Getty Images

Melbourne: Nov 4, 2011

He is one of the most popular international cricketers in India but Australian speedster Brett Lee said he wasn’t sure if any of the IPL franchises would be interested in picking him up and was stunned when he fetched US$ 900,000 in the inaugural auction.

Lee was bought by Kings XI Punjab in the inaugural IPL auction and in his autobiography ‘My Life’, the tearaway pacer said he kept tabs on the proceedings all through, wondering if any franchise would be keen to have him.

“We were monitoring via text what was happening in India.

One message stood ‘India’s one-day captain M S Dhoni had been bought for US$ 15 million by Chennai. We were stunned’,” he wrote.

“I was really nervous and couldn’t help thinking, ‘does anyone want me’? Finally the phone rang. It was my manager Neil Maxwell,” he recalled.

After being informed that he was able to fetch US$ 900,000, Lee wrote “Wow! This was just crazy; never had I ever dared to dream that I’d get that much. Over the days the cricket world was turned on its head by revelations of the millions and millions of dollars that were spent at the players’ auction for the inaugural IPL.”

Being in Kings XI Punjab also brought with it rumours of an affair with its co-owner, Bollywood actress Preity Zinta, but Lee said the speculation was media’s imagination.

“My signing fuelled media rumours that there was something going between me and Preity. This all stemmed back to 2002 or 2003 when I presented her with ‘Leading actress’ at a Bollywood awards night in Singapore.

“At the time, when the Indian media asked me who my favourite actress was I told them ‘Preity Zinta’, because she was cute and has a dimple…It was all a bit of fun but some journalists picked up on that…They simply weren’t true,” he wrote.(PTI)