In the wake of continuing attacks on Indian students in Australia, pace bowler Brett Lee has come out strongly in condemning the violent acts and reiterated that his country was a very safe and wonderful place.
“We Australians are a multi-culture society with people from different races. I know there are some issues and I am very sad. I am working very closely with the authorities in Australia in this regard.”
He did not think the attacks on Indian students were racist in nature. “That is not the case. Whether it is Sydney, Perth or Melbourne, Australia is a place where everyone feels comfortable. We, Australians, welcome Indians with open arms much the same way I am welcomed here. I’ve said it in the past that, in many ways, India is a second home for me,” he said.
Lee dismissed the security concerns expressed by some sections of the media in Australia and said, “We are guided on security everyday by experts. It’s for the authorities to ensure that everything is fine.” He also added that he was not afraid of playing in Mumbai in the background of the threat issued by the Shiv Sena.
In the capital as brand ambassador for the Pearls group of companies, the Australian speedster said, “The way I am treated by the people of this country, it is always a very humbling experience.”
Recovering from an elbow surgery, Lee sounded confident of playing the third edition of IPL. “I feel great and so far my recovery is on schedule,” said the Kings XI Punjab speedster who was required to use a brace for eight weeks following the surgery.
On some of the Australians and Pakistani cricketers being ignored in the recent IPL auction, Lee said, “There will be cricket happening around that time (Australia is scheduled to tour New Zealand till end of March) so some of the Australians would not have been able to make it.
“If IPL is about the best players playing against those from different cultures, it would have been great to have players from Pakistan.”
When asked what he thought about a section of the media questioning India’s worthiness of being the number one Test team, he said, “It is very harsh (not to acknowledge India as the top-ranked team).”