Cricket: Rousing Send-Off Puts Eight-Wicket Lee in Hot Water
Australia fast bowler Brett Lee faced a disciplinary hearing after giving New Zealand batsman Shane Bond an angry send-off on the fourth day of the deciding third and final Test match in Perth yesterday.
Asked if he was disappointed with Lee's behaviour, Australia coach John Buchanan said: 'I think we all are, as indeed Brett is. That's really a matter for the match referee now to sort out with Brett and the team manager.'
The coach said Lee, with match figures of eight for 181, had a wonderful enthusiasm and his high-leaping celebrations of wickets provided some of the great sights in cricket.
'He has certainly apologised to Bond for the incident,' Buchanan added.
Lee bowled Bond for eight as New Zealand declared their second innings at 256 for nine, leaving Australia 440 to win off 107 overs. Australia closed on 69 for two.
Lee shouted at Bond and pointed to the dressing-room and appeared to tell the New Zealander in plain terms to leave the field after claiming his wicket.
International Cricket Council match referee Jackie Hendriks will consider his decision overnight, Australia team spokesman Brian Murgatroyd said.
The two umpires, Zimbabwe's Ian Robinson and Australia's Darrell Hair, Australia captain Steve Waugh and team manager Steve Bernard attended the hearing after yesterday's play.
Lee could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute, as well as using crude or abusive language and making offensive gestures.
The 25-year-old has taken 65 wickets in 15 Tests since making his debut in Melbourne against India in December 1999.
Any suspension would hurt Australia's chances in the three-Test series at home against South Africa, which starts in Adelaide a week on Friday.
Lee, regarded as the fastest bowler in the world with a top speed of 99mph during a one-day game against South Africa in Johannesburg last year, brings colour to the game, Buchanan said.
'I don't think any player around the world anywhere who displays passion at scoring runs or taking wickets, regardless of what situation the game is, should be dampened from that show of enthusiasm,' Buchanan said.
New Zealand declared 77 minutes into the final session after fast-scoring contributions of 54 by debutant opener Lou Vincent, 42 from all-rounder Chris Cairns and 40 from Nathan Astle, who scored 156 not out in their first-innings total of 534 for nine declared.
Australia lost opener Justin Langer without scoring after he hit centuries in his past three Tests and 75 in the first innings of this match. …