Piers Morgan broke ribs in showdown with Brett Lee

Piers Morgan broke a rib during his encounter with Brett Lee in the MCG nets, the TV host revealed on Twitter, saying an X-ray had confirmed the injury.

Lee challenged Morgan to face his deliveries when the former newspaper editor and avid cricket fan questioned the courage of the English batsmen facing Mitchell Johnson in the Ashes series.

When Morgan geared up and entered the nets during the tea break on day two of the fourth Ashes Test last Friday, Lee proceeded to pelt him with six fast balls, four of which hit Morgan in the body.

The public showdown drew the ire of former New Zealand Test cricketer Sir Richard Hadlee, who called Lee's behaviour "stupid" and "appalling".

"This was a brain explosion of the highest order," he wrote for Fairfax Media. "Morgan, aged 48, was hit four times on the body and if he was hit on the head or across the heart the result could have been devastating."

"This should not have been shown on live television - people could have witnessed a tragic accident that the game of cricket never wants to see."

But there are no lingering hard feelings between the two. Morgan said soon after the encounter that it was the most exciting 10 minutes of his life.

"For any club cricketer in the world, to face Brett Lee, just fantastic," he said.

The pair were also spotted at The Bathers' Pavilion in Balmoral on Monday drinking Grange over a long dinner.

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