In Monday morning’s sealed section Crikey described Brett Lee as “a childish thug”, following his short-pitched barrage on the English tail-end in Perth. However even Nasser Hussain defended Lee’s aggressive bowling saying, “it is a man’s game” and some Crikey readers seem to agree.

BRETT LEE – WHAT A DISGRACE

Steve Waugh was suggesting before the WACA test match that “there will be injuries” and then that childish thug Brett Lee draws plenty of blood with a sickening blow to the head of that hapless pommy tailender Alex Tudor last night in Perth.

With the Australians heading for an easy victory, Lee made a complete fool of himself by whistling several bouncers past Tudor’s head and then sledging the bloke as if he’s been nicking boundaries all day, rather than only facing a few balls.

After seeing Tudor stretchered off, Crikey almost fell off his chair when Brett Lee then followed up two balls later with another searing bouncer straight at the hapless head of number 10 Harmison.

The Aussie media should give Brett Lee an absolute shellacking for totally uncalled for aggression. It was disgraceful.

The Crikey Army should berate the young bully by clicking on this link and sending some feedback to the BaggyGreen.com website

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We have already received lots of feedback from readers who take a different view.

Re: your comments on Brett Lee.

Firstly I am no fan of Brett Lee as I don’t understand why he has to act as though he has saved the world every time he gets a wicket, however this seems to be a problem with all cricketers these days. If you saw the footage from the 1970s when Lillie and Thomson got wickets you would have noticed the difference in behaviour.

The point is, Tudor and Harmiston both bounced Brett Lee when he was batting and I believe Tudor hit Brett Lee twice so what do you expect?

Keep up the good work.

Regards

Peter Thomson

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Alright, about this…..

6. BRETT LEE – WHAT A DISGRACE; etc..

Now you should have played or watched enough cricket to know that Tudor totally f*cked up by ducking into a bouncer. It wasn’t that hostile a delivery. Furthermore, you write like Tudor’s a McGrath style bunny, when in fact, he’s not a bunny at all- he won a test match for England scoring 99 not out- there’s no doubt he can bat. Furthermore, if you’d watched Australia’s innings, you’d have noted that Lee copped plenty of short stuff of his own; the difference is, Brett coped with it and put the bad balls away. Dont go on with this bully bullsh*t; sure he dishes it out, but he cops it as well, without complaining.

Not that the press won’t get stuck in to him no doubt. Their animus towards Steve Waugh will see to that. It’s noticable that this hostility is marked by the professional journalist class and isn’t shared by the ex-player brigade at channel nine.

As for Steve Harmison copping a bouncer, so what? If you are squeamish, go play netball! Where was the reproaches when Malcom Marshall and the like were going over our tailenders? No one complained when Geoff Lawson’s jaw was shattered in 1988/89.

Cheers

Scott Wickstein

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ohhh crikey….you’re slipping up……you forgot to mention in your quick
bash at brett lee that he was from sydn…oops…my mistake..sincity…

oh…and you also forgot to point out that the ball was ducked into…

now back to the victorian election to you friend

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Your comments about Brett Lee’s follow-up ball are complete horse-sh*t.

Maybe you’re a bit shaken after the results in Victoria, but surely you’re not now saying fast bowlers in Test matches have to soften-up their act.

Tudor ducked into the ball that hit him. If he stood up and swayed backwards it would have passed him somewhere between belly-button and chest height.

His follow up balls to Harmison were fine. It’s what fast bowlers do.

A

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Brett Lee a disgrace? Bollocks.

Stephen,

While there is a potential gentleman’s agreement between fast bowlers as it relates to short-pitched bowling, test cricket is a professional game and is about winning. Waugh has stated that winning is about the “mental disintegration of the opposition” and Lee only used his attributes to contribute towards the mental disintegration of the English. The ball in question wouldn’t have hit Tudor in the head if he had more sound evasive techniques and was up to test level.

Tudor has a highest test score of 99* and an average of 19 and not-out on 4 of his 16 “at bats”. His first-class average is 21. These stats rate him higher with the bat than, say Shane Warne, with a highest test score of 99 and averages of 16 and 17 respectively for test and first class cricket.

The man is no bunny and ducked into the ball.

Harmison, like a Glenn McGrath ought to spend some time in the nets learning the basics. The other thing is that Australia seldom needs to draw on McGrath to bat. In this match, our bottom 4 batters (incl McGrath) contributed 111 runs on the same batting track, and if my memory serves me right, about 20 overs against the second new ball. England’s contributed 31 runs, if you include the night watchman and ignore Silverwood with his gamy ankle.

Nasser Hussain took it on the chin, are you insisting on our matching their mediocrity by diluting Lee’s aggression?

Cheers,

Tom from Bay 13.

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If Brett Lee is a disgrace for bowling bouncers at the England tail-enders do we introduce mercy rules? Fast bowlers are only allowed to bowl under arm to fellow bowlers.

Shall we introduce similar rules to encompass all sports so that older AFL footballers aren’t allowed to hip and shoulder the young’uns for fear of hurting them?

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Some points:

Brett Lee is a fast bowler, they feed on aggression and fear and they are actually trying to hurt you as a batsman.

Alex Tudor ducked into the ball, he bent down and took his eyes off the ball. A cardinal sin as a batsman facing pace.

Alex Tudor had a helmet on. When I was playing cricket as a teenager there were no helmets (1970s) and the bowlers were just as fast and aggressive.

In fact the last time I played, in 1995 I was still not wearing helmets, and I have never been hit despite numerous bouncers (I was an opening bat, or first drop).

Both Tudor and Steve Harmisson had bounced Brett Lee in Australia’s first innings.

The cricket ball is designed to instill fear in the nervous, the unsure and the unskilled.
Cricket is a test of bravery, resolve and toughness as much as it is a game of skill and athleticism.
If you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

Graeme Tunks

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I take it Crikey did not watch the treatment meted out to Brett Lee by Alex
Tudor when Lee was batting. It was the ancient game of fast bowler bouncing
fast bowler.

Come Brett Lee’s turn he just happened to have a new ball in hand and he
also happens to be better at it that Tudor.

The ball that injured Tudor was not a head high bouncer as your criticism
implies, it was exactly the intended height to achieve a catch off the
gloves – Tudor ducked very low, took his eye off the ball and was,
unfortunately, hit in the head.

Shit happens. But don’t blame Brett Lee.

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You do what you gotta do.

The Australian selectors selected Brett Lee to do a job and I am sure he met their expectations, just as Andy Bichel met their expectations in Sharjah, Brisbane and Adelaide.

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I have to say I think a bit of blood rushed to your head when you penned
your Brett Lee comments.

I’m not sure if you caught much of Australia’s innings when they batted, but
Brett Lee copped a number of bouncers from the hapless Pommy bowlers,
including Tudor. Just because Brett bowls them faster and better then his
English counterparts doesn’t mean he shouldn’t bowl them at all. I’m sure
Brett Lee had a couple of bruises yesterday morning to remind him that a few
short balls at the tail enders were well in order.

I think Brett Lee looked fairly shaken after the incident, and going back to
the bouncer after it happened looked to me to be playing to the game plan or
captains orders or whatever……. Ultimately Steve Waugh still could have
told stop if he thought inappropriate. At the end of the day when you play a
game where a very hard red ball is shot at some 150 km/h directly at
another human being their is going to be injuries.

Keep up the sensational work on the political, business and media fronts.

Pablo Berrutti

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Did you actually watch the incident, as your piece implies? I felt sick when I saw what happened to Tudor, but the fact is he ducked into the shot. The one that got him was actually fairly tame. All were within the rules, and Lee (like him or not) was doing what his captain wanted.

If you see a problem here then you should be attacking the rules, not Lee. Don’t care much for him myself but he is a professional sportsman and is entitled to play to the limit of the rules.

Frankly, I think Tudor is going to be bloody embarrassed when he watches the replay, as he will know whose fault the injury was.

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Steve, after almost five years of being denied live cricket telecasts, I found
myself at an Irish pub in Hong Kong on Saturday afternoon watching an illegal
South African satellite feed of the test on Sky Sport.

Apart from the joy of not having to listen to Lawry, Greig and Chappell, I thoroughly enjoyed what
was the prelude to the final slaughter as England (eventually) knocked off the
Aussie tail-end. the session was memorable for little other than the hostile
bowling of the England “quicks” Harmison, White and Tudor.

I remember saying that Tudor and Harmison were crazy to bowl short stuff at Lee and McGrath, but
bounce them they did. So the moral of this longwinded missive is that test crick
eters, particularly fast bowlers, live and die by the sword. I don’t think Alex
Tudor will be too upset by Brett’s hostility.

As for one reader’s comparison with Lillee and Thomson, you’ve got to be kidding. Lillee virtually invented the sendoff and Thommo’s famous for saying he liked it when he made a batsman spill
blood. Haven’t seen too much complaining in english press either.

So I’d tone down the outrage and marvel at a truly scary bowling performance

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But there are also lots of readers who agree with Crikey

Well, that’s Brett Lee for you. If ever a player was given plenty of rope,
it’s Lee.

A great bowler is one who can turn an innings around. They come in when the
batsman are making merry hell and take some crucial wickets. By the
equivalent stage to Lee’s position now, after [? number of Tests Lee has
played] Tests, Warne, McGrath and Gillespie have all played pivotal roles in
Test matches. Even yer second-string bowlers like Damien Fleming, Mark
Waugh, Andy Bichel and even Funky Miller have risen to the call in important
tests, unlike Fair Weather Brett.

Maybe there is some latent talent to compensate for the fact that he
concedes more sundries than any other Australian bowler (if he was a Pom he
would be a national joke in both countries), and is not that good in the
field.

If ever a cricketer was overrated Brett Lee has to be it.

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Brett Lee is not a thug but he is a one trick pony who has fallen into the
trap of believing his own media. I suspect that in the long term he will be
found out and will struggle to retain a regular test spot. You only have to
look at his figures to see how expensive he is compared to the regular
pacemen in the Australian side.

As to who was bowling short to whom, I think you will find that the England
bowlers bowled short to Lee in response to Lee bowling at their heads in the
first innings. Like the middle east conflict, it is a self perpetuating
cycle of revenge perpetrated by those of little talent or ability. The
quality bowlers achieve their results through no fuss line and length
bowling, something that Brett Lee is incapable of.

Yours Sincerely

Gillespie’s Goatee

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I have to agree with Stephen. No need to bowl bouncers at the tail-enders when Australia is so far in front. In fact, I reckon there are too many bouncers being bowled in cricket now. A bloody good Yorker would have done the trick – got Mr Lee a wicket without drawing any blood.

Cheers

Sarah – peace loving cricket fan

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The comments from Stephen Mayne on Brett Lee are totally correct. This guy is a thug, no surer thing. I have no problem with short pitch bowling to lower order batters, however this was completely unnecessary, the game was over, the ashes won.

Not only was Australia about to win the third test in three days without having to bat for a second time in the series, but he was bowling with a new ball to a guy who was never going to make a decent score on deck like that against bowling like that.

Readers have referred to the 99 not out that Tudor made. It was in a game against New Zealand in England. Nothing like facing this clown at 150km/hour on the WACA. Australia was still 60 runs in front before having to even bat again with 2 wickets left. Lee showed his lack of class by then bouncing Harbison two balls later.

Lee needs to sit down, watch McGrath and Gillespie bowl and learn how to be effective, take wickets and not act like a thug without a cause. Australia is a fantastic cricket team and we should all be able to enjoy watching the greatest group to ever play. It however, becomes an absolute embarrassment to our country when the ashes victory which should be the splash on national papers and news services is replaced by lee’s thuggery.

Jamie

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I am of the anti-Lee faction and have cut and pasted the Crikey article to Steve Waugh via the Baggy Green website. This type of play puts us in a bad light internationally. It seems to be in keeping with J Howard who wants to bomb the bastards in keeping with his brown nose relationship with George W.

Having lived overseas for some 25 years I can vouch for the fact that Australia has a bad image on the Cricket front biased commentators and bad attitudes displayed on the field. Brett Lee just helps this image along. I am not a Cricket buff but isnt this play just what was complained about in the Bodyline Series????

Cheers,

Mark Stubbs

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