August 20, 2008
Brett Lee will miss the one-day series against Bangladesh for family reasons and has been replaced in the squad by the uncapped fast bowler Brett Geeves. On Tuesday Lee launched a new range of underwear in Sydney, but he will not be part of the team’s pre-season camp in Queensland from Friday or the three one-day internationals in Darwin, which start on August 30.
Lee confirmed on Thursday that the withdrawal was due to problems with his marriage. “We have been caught by surprise as to how quickly our situation has become public,” Lee said. “It is with regret that I confirm today’s media reports are correct and that Liz and I have decided to separate.”
Michael Brown, Cricket Australia’s acting chief executive, said Lee had been given “short-term leave”. “We look forward to Brett rejoining the group as soon as possible,” Brown said. The news is a setback for the side, which is without Ricky Ponting (wrist injury), while Matthew Hayden continues to battle a heel problem.
Geeves, who is from Tasmania, has been picked in the squad ahead of Doug Bollinger and Ashley Noffke, who will instead travel to India for a tour with Australia A. “The selectors are comfortable this move will maintain the competitive edge for the Australian side,” Brown said, “and provide a wonderful opportunity for Brett to join the Australian group for the first time.”
Last season Geeves was the equal-leading wicket-taker in the FR Cup, collecting 15 at 25.20, and he was Man of the Match in their final victory. He captured 3 for 28 and scored 6 crucial runs as Tasmania beat Victoria by a wicket.
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