Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has lamented the loss of Brett Lee to world cricket, saying the recently retired paceman would be missed by fans who love extreme quick bowling
Lee announced his retirement on Friday, after a calf injury became the latest in a long line of injuries in recent years, having played 221 ODIs and 76 Tests for the Baggy Greens since his debut in 1999.
While Akhtar is the holder of the fastest deliveries on record, over 100 miles an hour (twice), Lee is the second fastest bowler ever to grace the planet, hitting 99.9mph against New Zealand.
Akhtar told AFP: “Friday was a sad day for international cricket because a bowler with express pace has retired, someone who was loved by the fans around the world, and he will be missed.
“Lee gave everything to cricket and was a true Australian: fierce and battle-hardened. He was always willing to bowl and willing to bowl fast and like all the fast bowlers had injuries, which is part and parcel of fast bowling.
“Cricket had very few express pace bowlers and now after the retirement of Lee we don’t have any bowler who can bowl 99 mph and the terror on the batsmen will be less.”
He added: “I had very good friendship with Lee and spent some good days with him in Sydney and he was always warm and cordial whenever we met, so I wish him all the best in his future.”
Lee was the third high-profile player to retire in one week, joining South Africa’s Mark Boucher and Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Taibu in hanging up their boots.