Injured Lee deserved national contract, will be a potent weapon: Hilditch

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Sydney, May 1 (ANI): Australia's chief selector Andrew Hilditch has said that he does not regret handing a national contract to pacer Brett Lee, who has been out of the ODI side and on Wednesday was forced to fly home from the World Twenty20 after straining a muscle near his right elbow.

There was much speculation as to whether Lee would make the top 25 list after his retirement from Test cricket, but was retained to play Twenty20s and one-dayers.

Lee is expected to struggle to make a come back into the ODI side because of strong performances by Doug Bollinger, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Bracken, while Peter Siddle is also in the mix.

The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Hilditch as saying that Lee deserved a contract because if he returns to prime form he will be one of the country's best bowlers.

"If he gets back to his best he will be a very potent weapon for us, he's been a great bowler for Australia. Really this is now in the hands of how he comes back from this injury," Hilditch said.

Lee's manager Neil Maxwell said that his client was 90 per cent fit before returning from the elbow operation to play in the Indian Premier League, where he broke a thumb.

Twenty20 captain Michael Clarke said it would be foolish to write off the 33-year-old paceman.

"He has seen all parts of this game. He has had the ups, he has had the downs and he has had plenty of operations and niggles and he always keeps finding a way to come back. I see it no different [this time]. If he wants to be back representing Australia in Twenty20 cricket and one-day cricket I'm certain he will be." (ANI)

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