Former Australian cricketer Brett Lee says it is an honour to receive the letter that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sent him on India’s 73rd Republic Day.
Narendra Modi conveyed Republic day greetings to Brett Lee with a letter of appreciation for his love and affection for India.
“I would like to convey Republic day greetings to you. 26 January this year is even more special because it is happening at a time when India marks 75 years since freedom from colonial rule. Thus I decided to write to you and a few other friends of India with a sense of gratitude for your affection towards India and a hope that you continue to work closely with our nation as well as our people,” Mr Modi said.
Brett Lee responded with a tweet, “It’s no secret how much I love India & its people & feel grateful that I’ve been able to spend so many years enjoying this beautiful country. I’m a few days late, but Happy Republic Day, India.”
The letter states, “Your outstanding cricket career and the sportsmanship that you displayed won you many admirers in India. Your love for India, its language, culture and cuisine is also well known. This affection which you have with our great nation and the love Indians have for you is the perfect example of the deepening Indian-Australia relationship.”
“India is witnessing a series of historic social, economic transformations. I am confident that will empower lives and contribute to the global good.”
Brett Lee played for Australia between 1999 and 2007. He made a name for himself as a fearsome fast bowler. He made his test debut against India in 1999 with a five-wicket hall.
He dismissed Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar 14 times, Rahul Dravid 12 times, Virender Sehwag 11 times and VVS Laxman 10 times in International cricket, making him one of the most fiercely competitive bowlers against India.
However, he only received love from Indians as he was always friendly to the country and its people.
Besides his apology to Sachin Tendulkar after hitting him with a beamer, Indians remember Lee for singing a duet with Asha Bhonsle and for his movie UnIndian. Lee has also featured in an Indian talk show ‘Rendezvous with Simi Garewal’ a few years back and acted in a Bollywood film Victory, featuring Harman Baweja. In 2009, he walked on-ramp in Mumbai for the ‘save the girl child’ campaign.
Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes, England’s Kevin Pietersen and West Indian batter Chris Gayle took to Twitter as well to wish India on the 73rd Republic Day after receiving messages from PM Modi. Former Australian cricketer Matt Hayden also received a message from the Indian PM.