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Former cricketer-turned-commentator Brett Lee shares interview tips

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Former cricketer-turned-commentator Brett Lee shares interview tips

Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee reckons he has been interviewed thousands of times during his 27-year cricket career.

Now he’s on the other side of the mic asking the questions as a Fox Cricket commentator, giving him a unique perspective* on the art of the interview.

Mr Lee, who took 310 wickets in the 76 Test matches he played for Australia between 1999 and 2008, believes the job of an interviewer like himself is to get the interviewee to open up.

“It’s trying to understand something about the person that hasn’t been said before,” Mr. Lee said.

“It comes down to trust and it can take a few interviews to get that nice moment you want from someone where they feel vulnerable but know you won’t betray* their trust.”

Establish* confidence and be yourself were Mr Lee’s words for budding* reporters preparing to enter the Kids News Junior Journalist competition.

And he said a key lesson he took from the early interviews he conducted was the importance of listening to the answers you get.

“Instead of having five questions written down on a piece of paper, which is good to have as a guide in case you get lost or stuck, I learned very quickly that it’s important to listen to what people are saying rather than thinking about my next question,” said he.

Mr Lee, now 46, was just 16 when he was first interviewed by a reporter. He had just become a member of the state U17 cricket team and the local television crew came out to do a story on him.

“I’d rather run a marathon than give an interview and stand in front of the camera, and now more than 20 years later that’s what I do for work, so it’s pretty weird,” he said.

“But it’s like anything, you get used to it and now I’m comfortable. That comes with age and it comes with experience.”

The Young Journalists Competition is free and open to students in grades 3-9. For more information or to submit your written or video entry by April 6, click HERE


  • outlook: point of view
  • transmit: not being loyal to a person
  • establishing: to create or set something in a certain way
  • budding: begins to develop or shows signs of future success in a particular area


A girl reporter covers sports her way

He had to call in an expert

Footy ump would be great in the debate


  1. Brett Lee played cricket for Australia between which years?
  2. What does he think the interviewer’s job is?
  3. Instead of relying on questions written on a piece of paper, what does Mr. Lee think is most important when interviewing someone?
  4. Why was he interviewed when he was 16 years old?
  5. What would he rather do than be interviewed this first time?


1. Practice your interview skills
Interview someone at your school – it could be a classmate, an older or younger student or even a member of staff. Try to choose someone you don’t know well yet.

Come prepared with 5 interesting questions, but as Brett Lee suggests, try to save them if you get stuck. Build a positive relationship with the interview subject. Listen to what they say and try to go deeper into the details of the stories they share with you.

Make sure you record their responses – you can take pictures, record audio or record what they say.

Time: allow 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and social ability

2. Extension
Review your interview notes or recording. Now that you have more time to think, what other questions do you wish you had asked the interview subject? What could you say that might get them to open up more?

If you ask them nicely, maybe they will agree to a second interview…

Time: allow 15 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English; Personal and social ability

spy nouns
Nouns are places, names (of people and things) and time (months or days of the week).

How many nouns can you find in the article?

Can you sort them by places, names and time?

Choose three nouns and add an adjective (descriptive word) to the nouns.

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