Title : My Life
Author : Brett Lee with James knight
Publisher : Random house India
Genere: Biography/Sports / Cricket
Pages:425 excluding around 15 pages of exclusive coloured photographs
Price: INR 499
“I can lock myself up in a hotel, get room service, and play the guitar for hours and hours. I treasure that feeling when i get so engrossed in what i’m doing that nothing else matters at that moment. I reckon the happiest people in life are those who can find that space to be taken to.”
Coming from a country which has cricket in its blood, Brett Lee needs no introduction. Ask any Cricket fan to name an overseas player whom they admire the most, the name of Lee comes up more than often. Characterized by his everlasting smile, sheer pace and athleticism , he has been the epitome of positiveness, energy, vigour and fashion.He has been one of the exciting players to watch and even till date when he picks up a ball for Kings XI Punjab, people watch him with apt admiration. “Binga” as they call him has been a hero both on an off the field. With 310 wickets in test cricket and 380 wickets in the one dayers it is obvious that he is one of the greatest. One of the most amazing fact of his career was that he played in an era when Australia dominated the world cricket, an era which had the greats like Ponting, Mcgrath, Hayden , Langer , Steve Waugh , Bevan and so on . With a perfect work life balance he mentions that he did not like watching cricket, he was more on a action man so off the field he was able to devote ample time to the love of music. This showed up in his dedication to the,” Six and out” band. Few lines from the song called,”Eleven”
It’s the power of eleven
It’s the power of emotion
It’s more than a game
A history aflame.
The wonderful part of this book is his generous narration. Throughout his book he presents snippets from various people lives who influenced him in his success.In his journey his parents played a great role in supporting him. He talks of times when both his mom and dad went beyond their comfort zones to see that he practices well. Be it an early morning match or tour off they have stayed with him. Probably the most important character in his life was Shane , his elder brother who was an inspiration, a pacifier and a teacher. It was because of him that he pursued a career in cricket. All through out his book he mentions people who were a part of his life and influenced it in some way.He specially mention Max, his marketing manager who was phenomenal in handling his stardom. Richard, the joint owner of Barclay’s menswear in Sydney became a great friend and a teacher too. He is someone who loves being in limelight but he never lost his focus and did something stupid. His journey could be classified as learnings from not only the names i have mentioned but all the cricketers that he met. Unlike other cricketers he is someone who made friends with cricketers from other nationalities too.
He walks us through his career in a chronological order and talks of many matches. In 01-02 season they defeated Indies 5-0 where he made his first fifty. Ashes return from injury and the Bon Jovi concert. The eight wicket win at Lord’s in 2nd test and third test win at Nottingham claiming the Ashes for the seventh consecutive time. But he was not satisfied with his performance in the series and was a reality check for him.He also spoke of the 2003 world cup where he took 5-42 against NZ, Obya’s wicket for a hatrick, 9 consecutive wins and the finals defeating India where Punter made 140. Small stories from the lives of Steve Waugh, Warne, Nathan Bracken, Gilchrist and Symonds were a treasure to read. The performance of Symonds against Pakistan at wanderers where he made 143 not out playing under extreme pressure.Gilli’s walking off even if given not out by Rudi.
Lee has had an exciting career studded with beamers to charity. The pace he bowled at was very intimidating and many a cricketers have tasted blood, probably the most devastating was hitting Chandrapaul in 2008. The story with Sarah Genius is really admiring and really accentuates the fact that he was a people person. He always did these small things outside the field which brought joy in the life of others. He is probably the only one cricketer who has been associated with India since a long time. He was the brand ambassador of Timex which brought him often to India and he worked for opening a charity for music learners. His song with Asha Bhonsle and the being a part of IPL are some things which has kept the Indian context alive.
For a fast bowler the most challenging part of the game is maintaining the fitness especially for someone who bowled at such a pace like him.Above all this is also the fact that he played for the most professional team in World Cricket. He had his tryst with destiny, had so many injuries , had problems in the personal front but every time he was out , he used his time to get better , to exercise hard and prove his mettle. Probably this is what distinguishes a sportsman from someone who plays sports. He describes his career in these lines which pretty much sums up his career.
“I became disillusioned with cricket as a merry-go-round.I hopped on it when I was 23 years old. There I was, riding,the horse,hanging on,and doing well. But suddenly I fell off because of injuries and poor form. I dusted myself off and got back on,but the merry go round was going faster. I hung on for a while and then got flung off again. And that was the pattern for the rest of my career on a ride that only ever got quicker and quicker.”
Read this wonderful tale for the love of cricket