On being picked for his first Test
While I was looking for consistency for NSW, Australia were playing Pakistan in a three Test series. The day after my third Pura Cup game - a loss to Queensland at the SCG - Corey Richards and I sat in our unit watching Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer carve up Pakistan on the last day of the second Test in Hobart.
I was surprised to hear there’d been some talk in the media that I had a chance for selection in the third and final Test in Perth. Australian captain, Steve Waugh, had been pushing my cause but I didn’t think the selectors could seriously be contemplating me; I’d had a reasonable start to the season but felt I needed to get a few big hauls and maintain consistency before I could realistically hope to be considered. Corey didn’t agree with me, and was geeing me up, saying I had a real chance.
About half an hour after Australia won I received a phone call from Richard Watson from the Australian Cricket Board, as it was then known. It was early afternoon, and Richard asked me what I was doing for the rest of the day.
‘Not much,’ I said.
‘Well, you better get some good clothes on because you’ll be doing a presser at the NSW Cricket Association offices soon. You’ve been chosen to go to Perth for the next Test.’
That was the moment my life changed....
Image: A fiery Brett Lee bowls in the nets with his hair wildly askew