Brett Lee wants to know how much is too much

Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The tank has no petrol left in it and Brett Lee reiterated today that he is running merely on fumes and according to the Australian spearhead, it is high time to monitor the amount of cricket going around to prevent players' burnout.

''As I have told earlier, if you compare the body with a petrol pump, I've run out of petrol and running on fumes. I can say I'm pretty empty,'' Brett Lee told reporters here today.

In the capital as a Timex brand ambassador, the Australian speedster admitted that too much of cricket was leaving lot more cricketers, especially of his tribe, injured.

Though he stopped short of naming the International Cricket Council or the individual boards, the tearaway pacer said, ''Touchwood I'm not having injuries. But I think we should be careful about too much of cricket and monitor how much we play.'' ''Thank God, we got five month's off and I'm here more on a holiday,'' he said.

Lee, meanwhile, seemed enjoying his status as the Australian spearhead in the absence of senior pace colleague Glenn McGrath.

''For the last few months, I have been the strike bowler for Australia and it's simply exciting. It just feels great to bowl with that brand new ball.'' ''I was playing in the ODIs but Test cricket is where one wants to be. It's a great feeling to be part of the Test squad and the team is winning every match since the Ashes,'' he said.

The Ashes defeat against England still hurts and Lee wants to play his part in regaining the urn.

''We want to win back the Ashes, it's as simple as that. It was unfortunate to lose that and I want to help Australia regain it.'' He also refused to buy his former captain Steve Waugh's observation that the Australians were too friendly with the Poms when they lost the Ashes.

''We were not too nice to them on-field. It was controlled aggression and we played in the right spirit of the game. If you go up and talk to a bowler or a fielder, you don't lose aggression.'' ''Waugh is a great man and without him, I wouldn't have been here. When I go back, I'll try to catch up with him.'' He was also tightlipped about Shane Warne's possible comeback in the one day side ahead of World Cup.

''Warnie has shown interest and we have to wait and see.'' Warne, however, has rubbished the reports and said he won't play in the World Cup.

On Sachin Tendulkar, Lee said he had no doubts that the Little Champion, once he recovers from the shoulder operation, would be back to torment the bowlers again.

''He is a fantastic guy with amazing technique. I'm sure that he will be among the runs once he comes back. A cricketer of his genius doesn't have to struggle for runs.'' ''He is a true master of the game and once he gets his arm right, he will be hitting centuries again,'' he said.

Asked against which Indian batsmen he found going tough, Lee quipped '' Probably the top 11'' and then added, ''I think it's Tendulkar or maybe Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid.'' Lee felt the new crop of pacers augur well for Indian cricket but said they have a lot of work left before them. ''It's exciting to see so many young pacers coming up. But they have lot of work to do to maintain their fitness and form.'' ''Only a balance diet and a proper training regime can help them survive the tear and wears of modern day cricket,'' he added.

Asked whether he would prefer to play in the Ashes and skip the Champions Trophy, as reports claimed, Brett Lee said, ''If I'm fully fit, I will be playing here. I love this sub-continent.'' He also refused to admit that Australian cricket will find it difficult to fill in the void after the likes of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Shane Warne retire.

''It's unfair to say that. There are bowlers like Nathan Bracken, Mitchel Johnson and I think we have a good back-up.'' ''Besides, both Warne and (Stuart) McGill are spinners and it's said that spinners mature with age. With them, it's not as physical as it's with the fast bowlers.'' The pacer was upset that Australia would miss on hosting the 2011 World Cup after losing the bid to the Asian bloc led by India but he felt India would do a good job.

''Of course, it was disappointing to lose the hosting of World Cup. It would have been nice to host it in Australia indeed but I think India (along with co-hosts Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) will do a great job. They have great people here, cricket is a religion in the country and I'm confident they would do an outstanding job.'' With Team India on a roll in one dayers, Lee felt Rahul Dravid's men may prove a serious threat in the World Cup.

''The way India is climbing the ladder, they are definitely a serious threat.'' On personal front, Lee said he was eyeing 300 wickets in both forms of the game and 1000 Test runs.

Lee also revealed that he cherishes his 200th wicket.

''It was in World Cup and when Marvan Atapattu look up, his stumps were knocked off the ground by that 160 kmph delivery. I felt satisfied.'' The Aussie bowler was also hopeful that he would add another weapon to his arsenal once he masters the art of reverse swing, the basics of which he picked from Wasim Akram.

''I did not play too many matches since the interaction with Akram and now I'm resting. But I'll be working on it and hope it produces the results. It was great to get those knowledge from Akram.'' On his goals, Lee said, ''I will try to bowl as quick as possible, maybe at 160 kmph and remain nice and fit.''

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