Cricket great reveals girlfriend sledge is the best he's ever heard

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Dec 2021, 11:44AM
Brett Lee celebrates the wicket of Craig McMillan during a 2005 ODI at Eden Park.
Brett Lee celebrates the wicket of Craig McMillan during a 2005 ODI at Eden Park.

Cricket great reveals girlfriend sledge is the best he's ever heard

Author
news.com.au,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Dec 2021, 11:44AM

Australian cricket great Brett Lee has revealed the "best sledge (he) ever heard" as he opened up on the role of banter in the game. 

The former quick took 310 test wickets and claimed 380 ODI scalps across a successful international career, establishing himself as one of the fastest bowlers world cricket has ever seen. 

While Lee admitted sledging was part of test cricket and the Barmy Army even wrote a song about him, the best on-field barb he heard during his playing days came from an unlikely source. 

"I reckon the best sledge I've ever heard was at a grade game actually, in Sydney grade cricket," Lee told news.com.au's I've Got News For You podcast. 

"It's one of those days. Rain's falling, you're on, you're off (the field) type of thing. You can't find any momentum. 

"So someone in our first grade team said, 'Let's come up with what we believe is the ugliest cricketer in Australian cricket currently', whether it's first-class cricket or even grade cricket. 

"So we're going through what we thought was our ugliest XI. Anyway, we get back on, batsman comes out, takes centre, he's scratching his crease. 

"My mate at first slip goes, 'Hey champ, we've just come up with out ugliest XI and mate, looking at you right now through your lid, you are captain of the ugly XI'. 

"He turned around and said, 'Oh really? Well I can see your missus on the hill mate and she's batting three'. 

"True story. It's quick, it's brilliant." 

Lee believes the best sledges are spontaneous and always make the person they're aimed at laugh. 

"It's got to be off the cuff," he said. "Sledging's got to come from the heart. It's got to be quick-witted. It's got to be spur of the moment. 

"In all honesty, the thing with sledging is that 99.999 per cent of the time, there's nothing untoward. You don't racially vilify someone, you don't swear so the kids at home are listening in. 

"It's always funny stuff. You sledge someone to try and put them off their game. It's got to be fun. 

"We aren't robots. You know the line you can't cross. If you cross it, you have to pay the consequences but most times it's fun and it actually makes the batsman or the bowler laugh, that's the whole objective at the end." 

Lee also revealed the time he was the butt of a practical joke in the Australian dressing room before his test debut. 

"It involved Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath," he said on I've Got News For You. 

"I'm super nervous, playing my first test, super anxious to get out there. Gilly is just eyeballing me saying, 'Just go out there, you've done all the hard work. Just enjoy yourself'. 

"I'm listening going, 'Yep', trying to take it all in, not knowing that as he's keeping eye contact someone was down beside me. McGrath tied my shoelaces together. 

"I got up and nearly tripped over. It was almost like, 'Welcome'. That was like the initiation into the Australian cricket team." 

Lee will be part of Fox Cricket's commentary team for the Ashes, which begins today with the first test at the Gabba. 

He is also hosting a new podcast in partnership with news.com.au, called The Brett Lee Podcast, with friend and former NSW cricketer Brad McNamara, who he describes as "one of the funniest guys you'll meet". 

"It's a podcast about the Ashes," Lee said. 

"It involves cricket, it's not all about cricket. We cover the big topics, the news, all the different headlines that are happening in the last 24-48 hours. 

"We get some musicians on, we get some different talent from around the world. 

"It's a combination of cricket, sport in general but also different walks of life. 

"We both love music, both play in a band together. So we try to have a bit of fun with it as well."