Melbourne:Overburdened he might be, but Australian pace spearhead Brett Lee says he does not want to sit out of even one international match for his country as he continues to be haunted by the memories of being reduced to a 12th man before the 2005 Ashes series.
Even as skipper Ricky Ponting expressed concerns about the increasing workload on Lee after the retirement of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne, Lee said he was more than willing to take the extra burden as it was better than sitting out.
"I've always said I would love to play every single game for Australia. I hate being away. I think it's because of my background and my history as well.
"I had 18 months where I carried the drinks and I got so fed up with being 12th man," Lee said, recalling the 18-month period before the 2005 Ashes when he was either left out of the squad or made 12th man.
Lee said it was during that frustrating period that he pushed his body hard and made himself fit enough to bowl long spells.
"I was so frustrated and I wanted to be out there playing. Anyone in my shoes would have felt the same way. You just want to play every single match you can for Australia, so every chance I get when I'm feeling fit I definitely want to play as much as I can," was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.
"You have to be aware of what's going on - you have to be smart about it. I'm just trying to keep my body as fresh as I possibly can," he added.
With Australia still in search of a good spinner after Warne's retirement, Ponting has had to turn to Lee for wickets more often then not, raising concerns that the affable pacer might just be heading for a breakdown.