Close shave: Beer today, gone tomorrow was Lees fear

Published: Thursday, February 6, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesburg: Australia speed king Brett Lee believes his international career has been prolonged because he stopped drinking beer. The fast bowler called time on his drinking after his form slumped two years ago when he suffered from an ankle injury and a sore back which threatened his career. "According to studies being done, athletes who drink alcohol are 15 times more likely to get injured," Lee. "It does not matter whether you are having one beer or 15 beers.

I was told to try and stop drinking for a month. One thing led to another and I did not have a single drink for 12 months. It was not hard work, it was one of those things where it was a good challenge. "I felt very fit, probably the fittest I have ever been. I went through the last two seasons, touch wood, not having been injured," Lee said. Defending champion Australia opens its World Cup campaign on Tuesday against old rivals Pakistan at the Wanderers with Lee set to share centre stage with opposite number Shoaib Akhtar.

Both men are threatening the 100 mph (160 kms) barrier. Lee has already been timed at 159 kms in a Test at Newlands in Cape Town last year while Shoaib was clocked unofficially at 160 kms in a One-dayer against New Zealand at Lahore in 2002.

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