Lee here for his mate, not money

Australian fast bowler Brett Lee (centre) is welcomed at Dunedin International Airport last night by Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson (left) and Ryan ten Doeschate. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Australian fast bowler Brett Lee (centre) is welcomed at Dunedin International Airport last night by Otago Volts coach Vaughn Johnson (left) and Ryan ten Doeschate. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
You might remember booing the last time former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee was in Dunedin.

He was here for that one-day international at Carisbrook, nearly 13 years ago, where New Zealand batsman Adam Parore forgot to fasten his helmet strap. Lee struck him with a bouncer and knocked off his helmet, which cannoned into the stumps.

Parore was given out hit wicket for eight and the game was delayed for 10 minutes while some of the crowd peppered the ground with cans and bottles, incensed at the decision to award the wicket instead of ruling the delivery a no-ball.

But who goes into bat against someone who is capable of bowling at 150kmh-plus without double, no, triple checking their helmet?

''That was a while ago. I'd forgotten about that, to tell the truth,'' Lee told the Otago Daily Times at Dunedin International Airport yesterday.

''I guess my main memories of playing over here are fun and happy memories.''

Lee is in Dunedin to play one twenty/20 game for Otago - a dead-rubber against Canterbury at the University Oval today.

Otago has won its last eight games and has secured a home venue for Sunday's HRV Cup final.

Lee took little convincing to join Otago's campaign but his decision to skip across the Tasman for two nights had little to do with the money on offer. The negotiations took all of 40sec.

Lee's main motivation was to catch up with his good friend and Otago import Ryan ten Doeschate. In a time where cricket mercenaries travel the globe playing for teams with the largest cheque book, Lee is a breath of fresh air.

''This opportunity came up and I thought `why not'. I have a bit more free time now to do these types of things.''

When Lee played for Australia, it was a full-time job for about 300 days of each year. The 36-year-old might be in the twilight of his career but he is fit and - Canterbury batsmen avert your eyes now - bowling as fast as ever.

''I'm hitting 150kmh consistently ... and I'm still bowling the quickest in Australia and that is down to the hard work I've put in throughout my career.

''I'm not here to bowl slow. If I can't reach those speeds, I've always said I'll hang the boots up.

''But I'm still enjoying it. It is only four overs and it is a great way for me to keep getting my cricket fix.''

Away from cricket, Lee has a huge passion for music. He is a massive fan of New Zealand band Crowded House.

''[Musically] they grew up in Australia, let's put it that way,'' he joked.

He has also made an appearance in a Bollywood film and has his Brett Lee Clothing label.

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