Colombo - Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee says
emotion and aggression are part of the game and doesn't want to see robots on
the field, but he warned against behaviour "crossing the line".
The ongoing Australia tour of South Africa has been marred
by on-field altercations with South African speedster Kagiso Rabada appealing
against a two-Test ban for a shoulder barge on Aussie skipper Steve Smith in
the second Test.
The 41-year-old Lee, a fearsome fast bowler during a
sparkling career for Australia from 1999 to 2012, told AFP that controlled
aggression is good for the sport.
"The thing that I will say about that, in all honesty,
is we don't want robots on the field," he said ahead of the T20 tri-series
final between India and Bangladesh in Colombo on Sunday.
"Of course, there is a line that the players should not
cross," Lee added, without offering any judgement on the incident
involving Rabada, whose appeal is due to be heard by the International Cricket
Council later on Monday.
"You don't racially vilify someone. You don't use
excessive swearing or stuff that can upset children who are listening in. Other
than that you've got to play hard cricket.
"Now I am not saying I agree with what happened and I
am not saying that I don't agree with what happened, but what I can say is that
we don't want to get into a stage where players can't even look at a batsman,
batsman can't even look at a bowler without getting into trouble."
Rabada returned match figures of 11 for 150 at Port
Elizabeth, an effort that was praised even by his opponents, but he stands to
miss the final two Tests of the series, which is locked at 1-1, should his
Lee, who would regularly bowl at speeds of over 140 kph during
his peak, was full of praise for young Rabada's ability to bowl consistent
"He's good, I like him. Gets good shape on the ball,"
Lee said of the 22-year-old paceman who has already claimed 135 wickets in 28
Tests at an average of 21.45.
"He comes around the wicket a fair bit to the
left-handers, which I like and has got good pace and aggression and that's what
you need," Lee said.
However Lee rues the fact that modern-day quicks are not
keeping the yorker in their fast bowling armoury especially in the Twenty20
Lee, who was in the TV commentary team for the recently
concluded T20 tri-series in Sri Lanka, said bowling in the shortest format was
challenging, especially towards the end of the innings.
"I think it's a different style... but one thing I
haven't seen throughout the tournament enough is yorkers," said Lee.
"A yorker in Test, one-day or T20 cricket can still take
wickets and for some reasons bowlers now, in particular, fast bowlers, are
hitting a length at the end. I don't necessarily agree that's the best
Lee though was impressed with Bangladesh fast bowler Rubel
Hossain for his variations throughout the tournament, including consistent use
of the yorker.
Hossain, a veteran of 85 one-day internationals and 25
Tests, played a key role in Bangladesh making the final of the tri-series,
which they lost in a last-ball thriller to India.
"To me he is a guy that probably has been the only one
in this tournament that has kept the seam upright, comes off a short run-up and
he bowls a good yorker," said Lee, who claimed 310 wickets in 76 Tests and
380 wickets in 221 ODIs for Australia.
"Yes, guys have been bowling yorkers throughout the
tournament but I want to see it more often."