A new arena for former Australian cricketer Brett Lee
The visit by one of the fastest bowlers ever seen in cricket, Brett Lee, to the quaint Cusrow Baug in Colaba is meant to be a hushed-up affair. Older residents non-chalantly continue with their daily game of cards, while young mothers and college students wait with their camera phones. Lee is supposed to play a game of badminton with Jehan Daboo (resident at the Baug) and Nabha Wamburkar, as the ambassador of Cochlear, a hearing implant company. He has had a busy day visiting different parts of the city as part of his duties as a global ambassador. Looking fresh in a white polo shirt, Lee settles down on a bench in the garden to answer a few questions.
Brett Lee at Cusrow Baug in Colaba. Pic/Atul Kamble
“I was shooting for my movie, Unindian in which actress, Tannishtha Chatterjee plays a marketing manager for Cochlear. I learnt about the firm through the movie and got associated with it,” he tells us. The former Australian cricketer is passionate about the cause, revealing, “I have always said that no one should live in silence and there are ways for it (hearing
impairment) to be treated. If anyone has an underlying problem, speak to someone, speak to your parents, go and see a specialist because you might benefit by an implant.”
Being an actor
Fans of the fast bowler are aware of his love for music (he has sung a song, In My Shoes, for the film), but when his name was announced as actor for the Indo-Australian film, it seemed like a bouncer. Lee tells us he never wanted to be an actor but this was a good opportunity that came at the right time. “I asked, ‘Are you sure you want me? How do you know I can act?’ They said that I would be okay. I did a three-week acting crash course on how to be an actor. But the advice I got, was, don’t act, just be natural. So I have tried to be natural in the film.”
What caught Lee’s attention was the film’s message. “Love has no boundaries. Your hair colour, skin colour and gender do not matter. You cannot help who you fall in love with, and that is important. That’s my belief, and that’s my belief in the movie too,” he shares.
Lee the fit Aussie
Lee has seen several injuries through his career. The key to recovery, he says, is to learn about your body, accept that injury is part and parcel of the game. “If you are a fast bowler, like I was, and are trying to bowl at 100 miles an hour, always live on the edge about getting injured. If it happens, accept it. Try to find a way for it to not happen again. Get your body strong. Stay flexible and in the right frame of the mind. The mind is the most important thing,” he suggests.
True to his nature, Lee has been hitting the gym hard post retirement, too. “I am training harder now than I’ve ever done because I am not worried about getting injured. I run in the gym to stay as fit as I can because I want to be healthy. If I tear my hamstring or my calf muscle, it doesn’t matter now. I am doing lot of weights and heaps of cardio. I have always said that too many young bowlers do heavy weights; I am not a fan of heavy weights. You don’t have to have big muscles to bowl fast. You have to be fit, skinny fit, healthy, stay at the gym and get in the nets,” he suggests.
Retirement has had several benefits. While Lee hasn’t had any time off, not being on tour has given him more time for music. “I watch more films (I love comedies), enjoy more fishing and family time, that’s what matters,” he signs off.
Brett Lee talks about his fitness mantra
One of the fastest bowlers of all time, former Australian cricketer Brett Lee, is known for his athleticism on and off the field. In a chat with Hassan M Kamal, he talks about how he manages to stay fit despite long hours of travel (Read more)