July 13, 2012, 12:57 AM
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Brett Lee to retire from international cricket
Thirteen years, Friday the 13th, it's appropriate for me to go:' Brett Lee retires from all forms of international cricket
July 13, 2012 - 1:12PM
It's stumps for Brett Lee
Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has announced his retirement from most forms of cricket, effective immediately.
Speaking on Channel Nine news, Lee said: "It has been a dream career, I guess, 13 years at the top. I couldn't ask for much more."
Lee said he had planned to end his career after the upcoming World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.
"Thirteen years, Friday the 13th, it's appropriate for me to go," Lee said.
"I woke up this morning after not much sleep and it's the right time to go. It just came to me this morning and I just felt it's the right time to leave the game.
"It's been in the back of my mind for a few months."
Lee said he was happy to have played "in a fantastic era, playing with the likes of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist, Steve and Mark Waugh, heroes of mine growing up".
"It's now stage two of my life coming up so I'm pretty happy and pretty excited.
"My holiday will be at home, I'm sick of being away."
Lee thanked his fans on Twitter.
The 35-year-old paceman, who retired from Test cricket in February 2010 after taking 310 wickets in 76 matches, continued playing for NSW and Australia in one-day matches and in the Twenty20 arena.
Brett Lee @BrettLee_58
It's official, I have retired from international cricket! Thanks for all your love and support. It's been an amazing 13 years
13 Jul 12
His teenage NSW teammate Pat Cummins told Fairfax today: "It's a testament to Brett's ability and athleticism that he has been able to remain one of the world's best and fastest bowlers for such a long time.
"I am sure we will still see a lot of Binga and he will continue to compete with the best players around [domestic Twenty20].
"I've worked with him and he's been an invaluable help to me and I am sure that [support] will continue."
Lee will keep playing in the Big Bash and Indian Premier leagues.
Lee has had several major injuries in recent years and was forced home from the one-day series in England early last week after suffering a calf injury.
Along with Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar, he was rated the fastest bowler in the world throughout his career.
Lee took 380 wickets in 221 one-day internationals as well as 28 wickets from 25 Twenty20 appearances for Australia.
He began his a Test career in the MCG Boxing Day Test of 1999 and played his final Test at the same venue in 2008.
His journey started in the under-10s for the Oak Flats Rats on the south coast of New South Wales and, after overcoming serious back injuries, was fast-tracked into the Australia A side before making his Test debut against India in the Boxing Day Test of 1999-2000.
He took a wicket in his first over when he bowled Indian opener Sadagoppan Ramesh and took 5-47 from 18 overs.
Lee quickly established himself as a Test match regular and became a popular member of the Australian team, attracting massive endorsement deals due to his clean-cut image.
He was a member of the 2003 World Cup-winning team in South Africa but was forced out of the 2007 tournament in the West Indies due to an ankle injury. Lee continued representing Australia in the shorter formats after retiring from the Test arena two years ago.
"I look back to when I was 19, and, while I hope [my injuries] never happen to anyone else, it's a fact that when you bowl fast injuries happen," he said this week. "You have to deal with it and you have to learn from what's happened because it makes you a stronger person. I have a saying 'If you're not living on the edge you're taking up too much space' – it means have a crack."
He retires one wicket shy of McGrath's Australian record of 381 ODI scalps.
Real shame he couldn't pick up that extra wicket to be on level ground with McGrath...But what an incredible career he's had. The sort of career Shoaib Akhter should have had, if not for a serious lack of professionalism.