Melbourne: The newly roped in ambassador of Tourism Australia for India, Brett Lee has said he would help in rebuilding his country`s image that has taken a beating following a spate of racial incidents in the past few years.
Welcoming over 70 Indian travel agents at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday, the former Aussie speedster insisted that Australia is not a racist country.
"Australia is not a racist country and the issue has been blown out of proportion in the media," he said.
"Yes, there have been issues but there was a lot of speculation and innuendo," Lee was quoted as saying by the Australian media.
The fast bowler also said that 90 per cent of the Indians would jump at an opportunity to come to Australia because of its climate and hospitality.
"Indians love Aussies and they love the fact that we can talk about cricket. They love coming out and studying here because of the climate and the hospitality.
"Australia is a beautiful place and has so much to offer," said Lee, who has been named a "Friend of Australia" under Tourism Australia`s advocacy program.
The `Friends of Australia` program has more than 160 advocates, including media personality Antonia Kidman, The Castle star Michael Caton and businessman Dick Smith.
Meanwhile Lee, according to media reports, has said that he was looking forward to heading to India in a fortnight to discuss other business opportunities.