Fast bowler Brett Lee will miss Australia's three-match limited overs cricket series against Bangladesh in Darwin from Aug.30 due to the break-up of his marriage.
Following a Cricket Australia statement that Lee would miss the series due to a "family issue", the paceman confirmed Thursday he was separating from his wife, Liz.
"We have been caught by surprise as to how quickly our situation has become public," Lee said in a statement.
"It is with regret that I confirm today's media reports are correct and that Liz and I have decided to separate.
"Given the personal nature of the matter I ask that you please respect our privacy as we attempt to deal with this sensitive situation."
Cricket Australia's acting chief executive Michael Brown said Lee was granted short-term leave, causing him to miss the matches against Bangladesh on Aug.30, Sept. 3 and Sept. 6. His place in the Australian squad was taken by uncapped right-arm paceman and handy lower-order batsman Brett Geeves of Tasmania state.
"The selectors are comfortable this move will maintain the competitive edge for the Australian side and provide a wonderful opportunity for Brett Geeves to join the Australian group for the first time," Brown said.
"We look forward to Brett Lee rejoining the group as soon as possible."
Australia captain Ricky Ponting will also miss the series as he recovers from wrist surgery, while veteran opening batsman Matthew Hayden is trying to overcome a heel injury to be available.