New Delhi: Kolkata Knight Riders' Australian pacer Brett Lee said his IPL skipper Gautam Gambhir is one of the most brilliant captains he has played under as the Indian backs up good leadership with strong personal performances.
"Gambhir is just brilliant. He is a born leader and it comes naturally to him. Besides, he backs it up with strong performances and has been leading our flock really well," Lee said on the sidelines of the launch of a music academy for underprivileged and autistic kids in New Delhi on Sunday.
Lee had similar words of praise for his national captain Michael Clarke, and said that it won't be too long before Australia regain the number one spot after a roller-coaster transition phase. "With Michael Clarke around, it has all been going really well for Australia. He has himself performed exceptionally well and the team is going from strength to strength under him," said Lee, who retired from Tests in 2010 but continues to be a part of Australia's ODI and Twenty20 set-up. "The recent Test series against the West Indies was a good sign and we should be there [at the top] pretty soon," he said.
Speaking about other issues in Australian cricket, especially the speculation over the future of former captain Ricky Ponting, Lee said, "Ricky has been an absolute legend of the game. He deserves to go only when he feels that the time is right."
Meanwhile, with injuries often having wrecked havoc on his career, the Australian speedster said music therapy kept him going, helping him overcome professional as well as personal challenges that life threw at him quite frequently.
Carrying the scars of 13 surgeries on his body, four on the ankle alone, Lee said it was quite a challenge to keep himself motivated, but music filled up a massive vacuum in his life and helped him cope with several personal crises, which included a divorce in 2008.
"At 17, I was told by the doctor that I could never play cricket because of an elbow injury, but I told him I will live my dream. I proved him wrong and played quite a few international games, that too as a fast bowler. And music had a huge role to play in keeping me motivated," Lee said.
"I turned to music during professional problems, during the personal crisis that I endured a few years ago. Music provided relief after a bad day in cricket and everything else. Music therapy has been brilliant for me," said the pacer, whose initiative - 'Mewsic, A Brett Lee Foundation' - is setting up academies all over India to help kids in orphanages and slums rediscover life through music.
"When you come home after playing in front of 100,000 fans at the Eden Gardens, it is important to unwind, and I do it through music. And I also fell in love with the great feeling that came with helping people through music after interacting with a few autistic kids."