Brett Lee, who was in town to inaugurate an exhibition, talked about how cricket has been his main focus, but not the be-all and end-all of his life
Thinking of how he’s going to take all the paintings and craft items he received as gifts on Saturday, Brett Lee said, “I’ll figure it out somehow, I will ask the boys to help me out with carrying all this back home.” He added that he was certainly going to carry all the handmade gifts back home with him because he appreciates all the hard work that went into it. “I’m not artistic at all, I can’t even draw a stick figure. I know that a lot of time and patience go into making every piece of art,” he said as he posed with the lot for a photo. Brett was in town to inaugurate an exhibition called Spart (a collaboration of sports and art) by Art and Craft Gallery at Residency Club.
Then settling down on the sofa, he geared up for an interaction with the press where he spoke about things that make his life worth living.
Brett has always been clear about his family being the most important part of his life. “I have a close knit family, even if we don’t meet a lot because I’m travelling, we are always there for each other. My elder brother, Shane, was a cricketer too, but my younger brother Grant took up academics instead of sports, and we’re happy with that too. My father was not a cricketer, but he saw the passion that my brother and I had for the sport and always supported us,” said Brett, who drove down to Delhi all the way from Mohali to catch a flight to Pune and show up at this event by noon.
He has often claimed India to be his second home and family. “I spend up to 150 days in Australia and the rest of the year here. It’s the people, culture, colour, excitement and organised chaos that I love about India,” said Brett who makes an effort to learn Hindi and converse with people to show respect to the country.
Brett figures that different people use different parts of their brain to express creativity. He does it through music. “I still can’t read music, but when I listen to a song, I can work out what the key is and get the guitar out and play it like the key has been imprinted on my mind,” said Brett. He claimed that he can hear a song once and know all the lyrics, though he is terrible with remembering names.
Though he has retired from the field now, he says that music allowed him to play sports. “Music keeps me sane. If I was playing against India and got my first wicket after giving away 100 runs, I would feel pretty low. I would go home and then take out the guitar, play a few chords and think it was okay. There are people who work the whole week and keep the weekends for their passion. They still enjoy a 9-5 job, Monday through Friday, but the weekend is for them to do something to express themselves. Music is like that for me,” he said.
But music isn’t the only form of art that Brett loves to explore. After having acted in an Australian production titled Unindian, Brett is eager to do a Bollywood film. He wants to work with Preity Zinta in an action flick.
Cricket and sportsmanship
Brett explained how sports involves a lot of hard work, but it’s rewarding. “Sports is not just about the game, but also what you can take away from it — the friendships and sportsmanship. I feel pure joy when I walk to the pavilion, it’s absolute bliss,” he said, adding, “It’s a bit like being an actor — I’m totally different on and off field. On field, I’m an aggressive bowler who wants to intimidate and take wickets. When there are a 100,000 people who have spent good money to come and see the game, you want to put up a good show for them. But off field, I am just a kid born in the country. Cricket is a great part of my life, but it’s not the be-all and end-all. I love the outdoors, I enjoy playing music, going camping. If you’ve only got one interest, you’re a very boring person,” said Brett.
Walking down memory lane, he thinks of all the friends he has made through cricket. “Sports brings a lot of people together. V V S Laxman and I toured together doing commentary,” he said. He expressed his excitement for the upcoming biopic on Sachin Tendulkar (also one of Brett’s close friends), titled Sachin: A Billion Dreams. “I think Sachin is a terrific guy, an absolute gentleman. Anyone who has played 200 test matches deserves massive respect. Though we’ve had some amazing tussles on field, we’ve made sure that we respect each other and always catch up,” said Brett.
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