Brett Lee will aid Ireland’s World Cup preparations after agreeing a short-term deal with Cricket Ireland to act as their bowling coach during the warm-up period in Sydney.
The 38 year-old Australian cricket legend retired from all forms of cricket last month following the conclusion of the BBL final.
During a glittering career, Lee took 310 wickets in 76 Test matches, and in addition played 221 ODI’s, claiming 380 scalps.
Ireland Head Coach Phil Simmons is hoping two times World Cup winner Lee can pass on some of his considerable experience to the Irish attack.
“Brett Lee has a wonderful knowledge of fast bowling, and his special insight of Australian pitches will help give our bowlers further confidence ahead of their group matches.
“I’m sure all our bowlers will benefit from the experience that a two-time World Cup winner has accumulated, especially in the pressure situations of a global event.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our bowlers to learn from a living legend and one I’m sure they’ll all benefit from.”
In a warm up match Friday morning, against Randwick Petersham, skipper William Porterfield top scored with 74 as Ireland posted what appeared to be a competitive 255-7 at the half-way stage.
He was well supported by Ed Joyce (49) and Niall O’Brien (31) in stands of 87 and 53, but from 203 for 3 with 10 overs remaining, only 52 were added in the crucial final period.
Craig Young gave the Irish an early boost when he had Middlesex player Ryan Higgins (12) caught by keeper Niall O’Brien, but that proved a false dawn as Alex Sams (80) and Nathan Price (51) shared an enterprising century stand.
Alex Kemp (31) and Daniel Sams (27) kept the scoreboard ticking as the Irish attack struggled to keep a check on the scoring rate on a flat deck and fast outfield.
Randwick Petersham skipper Adam Semple’s unbeaten 33 secured the win with 37 deliveries remaining.
Craig Young (3-68) was the most successful of the Irish attack, with Peter Chase (1-20) and Max Sorensen (1-36) the other wicket takers.
The Irish are back in action next week when they face Scotland and Bangladesh in their official warm-up games on Tuesday and Thursday.
They will be hoping the return of Kevin O’Brien, George Dockrell, Alex Cusack and John Mooney bolsters their ranks ahead of their first Group B match against the West Indies in Nelson on February 16th.