Commonwealth Bank Ashes Test Series
Hadlee blasts Lee for Morgan stunt
Kiwi legend labels paceman's actions "extremely dangerous"
29 December 2013, 10:33 AM AEST
New Zealand legend Sir Richard Hadlee has condemned ex-Australia paceman Brett Lee for his net-bowling stunt with media personality Piers Morgan.
Writing an opinion piece on stuff.co.nz, Hadlee derided Lee’s actions as “extremely dangerous and unnecessary”.
“I am so incensed I felt I needed to make comment,” he wrote. “It was clear that Morgan could not bat or defend himself against Lee's pace and intimidation – this was an unfair and one-sided contest that could have had severe consequences.
“Sadly, in the past batsmen have died from receiving blows to the body.”
The showdown between the pair was viewed by both Lee and Morgan as a lighthearted resolution to an ongoing Twitter slanging match, yet Hadlee was at pains to point out just how serious the situation could have become.
“I only hope that Brett takes a few minutes to reflect on his stupidity – this was a brain explosion of the highest order – it was a deliberate attempt to hit, injure, hurt and maim his opponent that I viewed as a form of grievous bodily harm or a human assault that could have proved fatal,” he continued.
“Morgan, aged 48, was hit four times on the body and if he was hit on the head or across the heart the result could have been devastating.”
Hadlee also suggested that Lee – playing for the Sydney Sixers in the KFC T20 Big Bash League – should be reprimanded.
“The ICC has an edict of fair play and upholding the spirit of the game, but that exhibition compromised those values,” he added.
“I only hope that officialdom will review the incident and if necessary take some action against Lee's behaviour – perhaps a censure, fine or even a suspension for his act of stupidity and misjudgment.
“Lee will have to accept there are no words than can be used to justify his decision-making and how he executed that six-ball over – it was beyond comprehension … I believe Lee has erred badly and on reflection may realise that he has damaged the image of the game of cricket.”
For his part, Morgan tweeted that he had no issue with Lee's actions (see below).
In all seriousness, I challenged @BrettLee_58 & urged him to bowl as fast as he liked. I've no problem with what he did, though my ribs do.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) December 28, 2013