Brett Lee, Morgan settle feud over dinner, wine

AMY MCNEILAGE
Last updated 07:51 31/12/2013

After Brett Lee cracked Piers Morgan's wrist and ribs in a controversial cricket media stunt, the pair mended fences over expensive red wine.

The two were spotted dining together at The Bathers' Pavilion in Balmoral, Sydney, on Monday night.

The former Australian cricketer and the British media personality have been at the centre of international media attention following a stunt that saw Morgan enter the nets during the tea break of the fourth Ashes Test to face down six brutally quick balls from Lee.

A number of commentators criticised the face-off, suggesting it was irresponsible and dangerous.

In light of his injuries, it seemed appropriate that Brett Lee footed the bill for dinner on Monday night.

"Well he had to compensate me for every rib he broke," Morgan told Fairfax Media as they left the restaurant just before midnight.

"He cracked my wrist, gave me a massive bruise on the hip and at least one broken rib, maybe two."

"The wine was magnificent. It was Brett's way of saying there are no hard feelings."

Despite his wounds, Morgan insisted he had no regrets and said he hoped his message got through to the English cricket team.

"I wanted to make the point to the English cricket team that they've been a bunch of wusses on this tour. I'm 48-years-old, I'm a village cricketer and I was prepared to face the might of Brett Lee just to make a point – don't go home, don't quit, stand there and take your punishment," added Morgan.

Lee said he was surprised Morgan didn't leave the nets after the first ball.

"There were a lot of people on Twitter saying he shouldn't have done it. But a lot of people now actually realise how much courage he's got, because you've only got 0.3 or 0.4 of a second to make up your mind. He gutsed it out for the whole six balls. He talked it up, he took it on and full credit to him. Absolute legend."

"Most exciting 10 minutes of my life," Morgan added. "For any club cricketer in the world, to face Brett Lee, just fantastic."

New Zealand cricketing legend Richard Hadlee launched a scathing attack on Lee over the weekend for his "brutal assault" on Morgan.

"[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 wrote in his Stuff.co.nz column.

Fellow sports commentator Joseph Romanos also penned a column criticising Lee's actions.

On Monday night, Morgan said that "Richard Hadlee and those guys have come out and criticised it and said it was unprofessional. But, in a way, it was the purest form of sport really. An amateur guy like me who just wanted to see what it was like."

"And the reality is, of course, he is an unbelievably quick, brilliant bowler. Way too good for me. But my point was to say to the English team that, if you come on an Ashes tour to Australia, stand and take it and at least show some fight. That was the only point I was making and I think that point was made."

- Sydney Morning Herald

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