Brett was fierce: Shoaib Akhtar

Jul 15, 2012, 08:25 IST | AFP

Shoaib Akhtar on Saturday paid tribute to pace rival Brett Lee who has announced his retirement from international cricket, saying the Australian was a fierce competitor

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.

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