Lee embodied spirit of cricket: Cricket Australia

Last Updated: Jul 13, 2012, 10:38 AM IST

Melbourne: Cricket Australia paid rich tribute to paceman Brett Lee, who announced his international retirement on Friday, describing the veteran bowler as the "very embodiment" of the spirit of the game.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said Lee would forever be remembered for not just his contribution as a wicket-taker but also as an inspiration to kids to take up the game.

"His record as a wicket-taker and leader of the attack is fantastic and speaks for itself but his resilience and ability to bounce back after numerous injuries has also been impressive," he said.

"On top of this, and this is a significant part of his legacy, Brett inspired young Australians to play cricket and bowl fast".

The 35-year-old Lee retired after a 13-year international career that included 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 Twenty20 internationals.

He leaves as the second highest ODI wicket-taker (380) for Australia behind Glenn McGrath (seventh all-time) and one of only four Australians to take more than 300 Test wickets.

Lee has also retired from one-day domestic cricket but will still continue to play in the Twenty20 Big Bash League as well as the Indian Premier League.

National Selector John Inverarity said pacer`s record speaks of his talent but his affable persona set him apart from others.

"Today one of Australia`s most outstanding fast bowlers announced his retirement. Brett Lee`s record speaks for itself.

"He first represented Australia as an exciting fast bowler in the Boxing Day Test in 1999 and played his last match played for Australia on July 7 this year."