After weeks of denial, Australian pace spearhead Brett Lee has finally admitted that the bitter separation from his wife and the ensuing custody battle for his son did take a toll on his on-field performance in the lost Test series against India.
"Obviously what I've been going through recently, with the marriage break-up and stuff, and with Preston, it's obviously terrible," Lee, who had maintained through the series that his personal problems were not to be blamed for his poor form, confessed.
Lee came to India without any match practice after being excused from the team to deal with his marital woes for over a month. He managed just eight wickets at an average of over 60 in the four-Test series which Australia lost 0-2.
The tear-away fast bowler said he missed his two-year-old son and spoke to him everyday on phone during the India tour.
"It's really hard and you miss him when you're on tour, but you've got to somehow keep in contact and speak to him everyday," Lee was quoted as saying by 'Cricinfo'.
Apart from the personal problems, the pacer's misery was compounded by a bout of food poisoning during the tour which left him lighter by 5 kgs.
But claiming to be back to full fitness for the upcoming Test series against New Zealand, Lee said he would now be achieving his peak form.
"The reason I'm in the team is to bowl fast," he said.
"I train on the principle of an Olympic sprinter. Most sprinters don't reach their peak till their mid-30s. If they can do it, with the right training and the structure we have here, with the fitness trainer and the physio, and I can get my body in the right shape, there's no reason why I can't get quicker. I want to bowl faster and faster."