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Copyright Brett Lee & James Knight 2011. All rights reserved.

. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

An Ebury Press book Published by Random House Australia Pty Ltd Level 3, 100 Pacific Highway, North Sydney NSW 2060 www.randomhouse.com.au First published by Ebury Press in 2011 Copyright Brett Lee and James Knight 2011 The moral right of the authors has been asserted. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted by any person or entity, including internet search engines or retailers, in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying (except under the statutory exceptions provisions of the Australian Copyright Act 1968), recording, scanning or by any information storage and retrieval system without the prior written permission of Random House Australia. Every effort has been made to acknowledge and contact the copyright holders for permission to reproduce material contained in this book. Any copyright holders who have been inadvertently omitted from acknowledgements and credits should contact the publisher and omissions will be rectified in subsequent editions. Addresses for companies within the Random House Group can be found at www.randomhouse.com.au/offices National Library of Australia Cataloguing-in-Publication entry (hbk): Lee, Brett Brett Lee: my life/Brett Lee and James Knight 978 1 86471 254 4 (hbk) Lee, Brett. Cricket players Australia Biography. Cricket Bowling. Bowlers Australia Biography. Other Authors/Contributors: Knight, James, 1967 796.358092 Cover design by Adam Yazxhi/MAXCO Front jacket photograph: Jack Atley/Bloomberg/Getty Images Back jacket photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images Internal text and picture section design by Midland Typesetters, Australia Typeset by Midland Typesetters, Australia Brett Lee career statistics provided by Ross Dundas Printed in Australia by Griffin Press, an accredited ISO AS/NZS 14001:2004 Environmental Management System printer 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Random House Australia uses papers that are natural, renewable and recyclable products and made from wood grown in sustainable forests. The logging and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin.

Copyright Brett Lee & James Knight 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

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t was Christmas Day 2009, early afternoon. I drove into my street with my three-year-old son, Preston, and immediately saw the warning signs: on the far side of the road opposite my home a guy was sitting on a brick fence. He was dressed in a full motorbike outfit with a helmet by his side. He also had a camera with a very long lens. I looked at him, he looked at me. He quickly lifted his camera, but before he could take a picture, I zipped up the road and out of sight around a corner. I then threw a U-turn, pulled a cap tight over my head, and drove back. The photographer sped past the other way. When Preston and I were safely home, I looked out a front window and saw the guy had returned to the fence. A short while later, my doorbell rang. I looked through the security camera monitor and saw a young blonde woman whose age was difficult to determine through the fuzziness of the screen. I thought it was a set-up: get a photo, throw a few lines over it, and suddenly thered be gossip in the papers about Brett Lees mystery female. I answered the door but stood well back, obscured from the photographers sight by a hedge. Hi Brett, weve never met, but Im your neighbour, said
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Copyright Brett Lee & James Knight 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Brett Lee

the visitor, who happened to be only a teenage girl. It was true that I didnt know her; Im a private person and generally keep to myself in the neighbourhood. The girl continued: I just thought you should know theres someone out here with a camera whos been trying to jump your back fence. I think hes been trying to get photos of you. I thanked her, went back inside, and pulled the blinds down. Preston didnt understand what was going on. I didnt want to worry him, but I knew I had to do something; wed become prisoners in the house. I sought advice by ringing my cousin and close mate, Luke Buxton, a policeman. I then called the local police and told them what was happening. I felt uncomfortable telling them my name because I didnt want to draw attention to myself. But the police were really helpful and moved the photographer on, banning him from coming into the area for 24 hours. They told me the same bloke had recently done something similar to Nicole Kidman. The incident made me angry. I understood the photographer had a job to do, but I didnt agree with how he was doing it. However, it did serve another purpose: more than at any other time during my career, I realised I didnt lead an ordinary life. I imagined what it must be like to be the Beckhams or Sachin Tendulkar, and although I was lucky my profile was tiny in comparison with theirs, I had experienced enough to believe that my privacy and rights had been violated. And why? I suppose it all began on Boxing Day 1999 when I first walked onto the MCG as an Australian Test cricketer who happened to bowl fast. Even before that moment Id made a decision to be a cricket performer, like an actor, and the playing field was my stage. During every match I wanted to be exuberant, amped up. I wanted to entertain. People could take as many photos
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Copyright Brett Lee & James Knight 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

My Life

as they liked, ask as many questions as they liked. They could cheer me, criticise me, or even have jokes with me. And thats what ended up happening most of the time. I loved it. I thrived on the whole scene: the packed crowds, the atmosphere, and most of all, the challenges. I relished it when the crowds didnt think we could win but somehow we pulled through; I also thrived on the occasions when I bowled on through the heat, or delivered just one more over when everyone thought I was spent. Moments like those inspired and motivated me. At times I wanted to prove to myself I could bowl 155 kilometres an hour all day; or if I was pinned in the ribs while batting, Id get a dose of white line fever and fight harder for survival than I ever thought possible. Overall, I wanted to show everyone, including myself, that I would give all I had in every single match on every single stage. But when I left the stage at the end of each day, I was no longer a cricket performer. There were many other areas of my life that were important to me. I could go to a music studio and jam with my mates, or I could slip into a suit and become a salesman at Barclays Menswear, or I could go home and spend time with my parents, the two most influential people in my life. In other words, I could switch off. Admittedly cricket has been the focal point of my life, but it isnt everything. I love playing the game, but to be honest, I generally find it boring to watch. Its the performer in me; I want to squeeze through the TV and be in the middle of it. I want to be the guy jumping through and getting that 5-for, not the one looking from over the fence. Ive been lucky. Cricket has given me an incredible lifestyle, and as was the case on Christmas Day 2009, Ive learnt to take the good with the bad. Sometimes I still sit back and say to myself with disbelief: Youve played cricket for Australia!
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Copyright Brett Lee & James Knight 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Brett Lee

But I still cant grasp why people are interested in me to the extent that someone would try climbing over my fence to take a photo. Half a lifetime ago it had all been so simple when I was back at school. I was just another student, another kid in the playground having fun. But now its all so different. Perhaps my status as an apparent celebrity is best summed up by Preston. Often when a complete stranger calls me Brett, my son asks: How do they know your name, Daddy? Its something Ive never got used to. I always find it funny when I see my name appear in the Spotted section of a newspaper: Brett Lee was seen at Lane Cove shops or Brett Lee was eating a hamburger in Bondi. Its ridiculous! But you know the flipside? Im always interested to see what other people are doing. I suppose its a strange twist of human nature. In this book I hope to make you see life through my eyes. As far as the cricket goes, some of you will know my statistics much better than I do; at the time of starting this project I didnt even know who my last Test wicket was. Actually, I still dont know. Throughout my entire career my biggest achievement was something fast bowlers learn to live with: getting over physical stiffness, and rising above the aches and pains that feel like knives stabbing into your joints and muscles. Despite this, somehow you get out of bed the next morning and do it all again. What a way to make a living. A great way.

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Copyright Brett Lee & James Knight 2011. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical,photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.