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Australian fast bowler Brett Lee back from another trip to India

Australian fast bowler Brett Lee back from another trip to India

Ostensibly, Brett Lee's trip to India last week was for some promotional work. Instead, the Australian fast bowler turned it into a bit of a scouting mission.
Returning from ankle surgery that forced him out of Australia's victorious World Cup cricket team in the Caribbean in April, Lee will tour India for seven one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match in late September and early October.
His five days in New Delhi and Mumbai were mostly spent on the speaking circuit, sightseeing and doing some shopping. But he had time for one training session in the Indian capital that ended up drawing a crowd.
"I took my spikes over there, and I managed to go down to a local high school ... a bit of an impromptu thing," Lee said Tuesday at an Australian team briefing.
"What better preparation than to have a good bowl on an Indian wicket? It had a really nice run-up, a good approach, good crease. I wasn't worried about how the wicket played, and there was no batsman. But about 300 kids came out and watched."
Lee has had more than a decade-long love affair with India.
"As a young guy coming up, I felt it was important that I experienced different cultures," Lee said. "I have been visiting regularly since the age of 17 back in 1994. It's a land of opportunity, a beautiful place. I can't give it enough raps."
Lee's close connection with India mirrors that of former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who retired in 2004. Waugh has been lauded for his charity work in India, including his contributions to a home for children of leprosy patients near the eastern Indian city of Calcutta.
"I didn't really do it on the back of Steve, it was a personal love," Lee said. "Steve has left a legacy over there, which is credit to him. I'd like to do something similar."
Lee's popularity in India has soared since late last year when he recorded a music video with Asha Bhosle, the illustrious Indian singer whom Bollywood actresses have managed to lip-synch to for years.
The Lee-Bhosle collaboration hit No. 4 on the Indian charts the first week.
Lee plays the part of a blond Westerner attempting to win the heart of a Hindi-speaking young woman in an office. He sings on the record and plays acoustic guitar.
That resulted in a few surprises last week during his India trip.
"The funny thing is that I got over there and people would come up and say, 'what a fantastic song,'" Lee said.
"They never even mentioned cricket, which might be a good thing."


Updated : 2021-04-13 10:36 GMT+08:00