The 35-year-old Lee said on Friday he was quitting, ending a glorious career that was marred by injury problems. Lee sent down the second-fastest delivery on record at 99.9 miles per hour (160.8 kph) at Napier in New Zealand, only surpassed by Akhtar who hit the 100-mile barrier on two occasions, first in 2002 and then in 2003.
“Lee was a fierce competitor and became an identity for express bowling with his passion and love for the game and for fast bowling,” Akhtar, who retired last year after a career plagued by injury and controversy, said.
Akhtar said Lee’s retirement was a sad day for the game. “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, always willing to bowl and willing to bowl fast,” Akhtar said.