He has perhaps been England’s biggest critic during their Ashes Series defeat this winter, but Piers Morgan was given his chance to show Alastair Cook and co how it’s done. His opponent? None other than Ashes winning-bowler Brett Lee.
Bowling at close to 90mph, Lee was one of the world’s top bowlers during his nine year Test career, not to mention one of the quickest that the game has seen. The pair have had a light-hearted war of words about the Ashes on social media site Twitter, which eventually led to their showdown in the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s practice nets.
Hitting the ball with everything other than his bat, Morgan was treated to a barrage of short bouncers which had Morgan running for cover. It took just one ball for Lee to hit his target, smashing one into his ribs as Morgan attempted to charge the Australian – bad idea.
Afterwards he claimed Sir Viv Richards told him to attack Lee by charging down the pitch, but it would only get worse as Morgan was knocked clean off his feet by the second ball, doing his best to avoid a head-high ball from the 37-year-old.
In a style reminiscent of the current onslaught that Mitchell Johnson has been dishing out to the England side, Lee continued the head-hunting, but Morgan had decided enough was enough. Instead of trying to play the ball, he quickly ran out of the way, but Lee was clued up to his tactics and followed him with the ball – the ball connecting firmly with Morgan’s helmet.
After commentator Mark Nicholas checked Morgan was ok, and even offered the services of the Australian team doctor, Lee came steaming in with ball number four. The Aussie showed no sympathy as he landed his latest blow on the Englishman’s back, much to the humour of the Australian team that was looking on from the sidelines.
By now, Morgan had had enough, and with his opponent mentally shot, Lee went for the kill in bowling the journalist-turned-talkshow host cleanly by sending his leg stump flying with a full delivery.
But Lee’s fun was not over just yet, as he used the final ball of the over to nail Morgan one last time, catching him on the hip as he tried to avoid one last blow.
Morgan earned praise from Lee’s former teammate Shane Warne, but for many, it was the 48-year-old’s comeuppance following his harsh criticism of the current side. Morgan had time to take one more swipe though making reference to Graeme Swann’s shock retirement, claiming that he would not retire and was available for the final Test in Sydney should they need him – though the chances of a call-up are slimmer than his hopes of hitting Lee for six.