Lee denies Waugh~~s ~~~~buddy-buddy~~~~ charges

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney :Tearaway bowler Brett lee has refuted former skipper Steve Waugh's claims that the Aussies did too much of a ''buddy-buddy'' with the Poms during the Ashes and said the side was tough enough and never lost its competitive spirit in the epic series last summer.

In his interview to BBC Sports recently, Waugh had said the side lacked aggression and the on-field bonhomie with Michael Vaughan's men during the series, and the mate ship contributed to the defeat.

''It's always a fine line. If you overdo it's 'ugly Australians', but if you have a smile on your face it's Australia being too nice,'' Lee said.

''The series was tough but fair. When we took the field against England we played it hard. But we were doing it the right way even though we were being very aggressive.'' Australia's Ashes loss marked the end of 16 years of dominance on the urn, starting in 1989. Incidentally, Waugh started on that tour of England, where captain Allan Border famously put a freeze on previously warm relations with the opposition.

Interestingly it was Lee's friendship with England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff that was held as a symbol of Ashes sportsmanship.

But Lee said his camaraderie with Freddie never precluded spiteful interaction out in the middle.

''Look at Flintoff. When I was bowling to him I was being very aggressive,'' Lee was quoted as saying by Daily Telegraph.

''He was trying to hit me for six and I was trying to get him out. Batting against him on several occasions my ribs got a workout. That's what Test cricket is about.''

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