1 Jan 2009

Brett Lee rules himself out of South Africa tour

4:31 pm on 1 January 2009

Twenty20 looms as the path back to test cricket for Australian fast bowler Brett Lee, who has ruled himself out of next month's tour of South Africa.

Lee has been ordered to rest for up to three months to allow a stress reaction in his left foot to heal, and he will use the period out of the game to undergo clean-up surgery to his left ankle.

But the 32-year-old is determined to force his way back into the Australian side for the Ashes tour, which starts in June, and this year's Indian Premier League tournament and the shortened form's world championships in England in June, before the Ashes, could provide the only way for Lee to resume bowling prior to that series.