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Lee lets Morgan have it in MCG nets

By AAP .
27 December 2013 06:49PM EST

THE only way Brett Lee could have shut up Piers Morgan is if he'd knocked him out.

The outspoken English TV host was defiant and unapologetic after facing the Australian fast bowler in the MCG nets.

An England cricket tragic, Morgan was challenged to the nets duel after heavily criticising the tourists over their disastrous Ashes tour.

After several days of hype from the Channel Nine commentary team, Morgan faced the music as Lee let him have it in one torrid over during the tea break on day two of the Boxing Day Test.

Morgan was left nursing a nasty bruise on his right wrist and a welt on his back among other injuries - all witnessed by a crowd of at least 2000 gathered for the mismatch.

And while he repeatedly stepped away to leg as he was peppered by Lee, who also bowled him, he had lost none of his bravado afterwards.

He said he felt like former England batsman Brian Close who was famously covered in bruises by the West Indian pace attack in their 1976 series.

"What you need out here on an Ashes tour is courage, fortitude and a Churchillian spirit of never giving in despite overwhelming odds," said Morgan.

"It was quite intimidating a big crowd and the Aussies all came out to watch a proper Pom with a bit of guts to him and I think they were all quite impressed.

"My central point was not to score big runs, but to survive the over intact and as you may have seen by the way I was beckoning him like Rocky Balboa, the faster he bowled, the harder he hit me, the more I told him to crank it up.

"That's what I call British spirit and that's what I want to see from the England team going forward."

Australian pacemen Mitch Johnson and Peter Siddle watched the challenge and loved it.

"The biggest smile around the ground was from Mitchell Johnson I think," Lee said.

Lee, who took 310 Test wickets, added he was operating at about 85 per cent of his fearsome top pace.

"In all seriousness, he got hurt but he didn't get maimed, so that's a positive step," Lee said.

"He can still walk away.

"You have to give full credit to the guy ... if you'd told me to go in there and face that, I would have told you to go and jump.

Lee agreed he had performed a public service.

"I wasn't enjoying myself, I was doing it more for everyone around the world," Lee said.

"Do I get a reward for that?"

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