Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Aggression’s fine, we don’t want robots, says Aussie Lee



Aggression’s fine, we don’t want robots, says Aussie Lee

Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee commentates during the sixth tri-nation Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday. AFP
Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee commentates during the sixth tri-nation Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Colombo on Friday. AFP

Aggression’s fine, we don’t want robots, says Aussie Lee

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee says emotion and aggression are part of the game and he doesn’t want to see robots on the field, but he warned against behaviour “crossing the line”.

The ongoing Australia tour of South Africa has been marred by on-field altercations with South African speedster Kagiso Rabada appealing against a two-Test ban for a shoulder barge on Aussie skipper Steve Smith in the second Test.

The 41-year-old Lee, a fearsome fast bowler during a sparkling career for Australia from 1999 to 2012, said controlled aggression is good for the sport.

“The thing that I will say about that, in all honesty, is we don’t want robots on the field,” he said ahead of the T20 tri-series final between India and Bangladesh in Colombo on Sunday.

“Of course, there is a line that the players should not cross,” Lee added, without offering any judgement on the incident involving Rabada, whose appeal was due to be heard by the International Cricket Council on Monday.

“You don’t racially vilify someone. You don’t use excessive swearing or stuff that can upset children who are listening in. Other than that you’ve got to play hard cricket.

“Now I am not saying I agree with what happened and I am not saying that I don’t agree with what happened, but what I can say is that we don’t want to get into a stage where players can’t even look at a batsman, batsman can’t even look at a bowler without getting into trouble.”

Rabada returned match figures of 11 for 150 at Port Elizabeth, an effort that was praised even by his opponents, but he stands to miss the final two Tests of the series, which is locked at 1-1, should his appeal fail.

The third Test begins on Thursday at 3pm Cambodian time.

Lee, who would regularly bowl at speeds of over 87 miles an hour (140km/h) during his peak, was full of praise for young Rabada’s ability to bowl consistent lengths.

“He’s good, I like him. Gets good shape on the ball,” Lee said of the 22-year-old paceman who has already claimed 135 wickets in 28 Tests at an average of 21.45.

“He comes around the wicket a fair bit to the left-handers, which I like and has got good pace and aggression and that’s what you need,” Lee said.

However, Lee rues the fact that modern-day quicks are not keeping the yorker in their fast bowling armoury especially in the Twenty20 format.

‘Bowl more yorkers’

Lee, who was in the TV commentary team for the recently concluded T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, said bowling in the shortest format was challenging, especially towards the end of the innings.

“I think it’s a different style . . . but one thing I haven’t seen throughout the tournament enough is yorkers,” said Lee.

“A yorker in Test, one-day or T20 cricket can still take wickets, and for some reasons bowlers now, in particular, fast bowlers, are hitting a length at the end. I don’t necessarily agree that’s the best tactic.”

Lee though was impressed with Bangladesh fast bowler Rubel Hossain for his variations throughout the tournament, including consistent use of the yorker.

Hossain, a veteran of 85 one-day internationals and 25 Tests, played a key role in Bangladesh making the final of the tri-series, which they lost in a last-ball thriller to India.

“To me he is a guy that probably has been the only one in this tournament that has kept the seam upright, comes off a short run-up and he bowls a good yorker,” said Lee, who claimed 310 wickets in 76 Tests and 380 wickets in 221 ODIs for Australia.

“Yes, guys have been bowling yorkers throughout the tournament but I want to see it more often.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration