Ryan Harris © Getty Images
Ryan Harris © Getty Images

Born October 11, 1979, Ryan James Harris is former Australian pacer who decided to call time on his international career following an injury ahead of the Ashes 2015. Harris was one of the most effective bowlers for Australia in recent times but injury marred his career and restricted his appearances. Nishad Pai Vaidya picks 10 facts about Harris. 

1.  British origins

Harris’ father hails from Leicester, United Kingdom. As a result, he had a chance to play for England. The Guardian quoted Harris ahead of the 2013 Ashes Test at Lord’s, “That last time I was in this building [Lord’s] I had the meeting with Mike Gatting about that. That was a messy situation. Maybe I contemplated coming over here, but on the flipside I had a good offer from Queensland to move states and I saw that as one last chance to play for Australia.” At that time, Harris was playing for Sussex in county cricket.

2.  Flying aspirations

Wisden notes that Harris dreamt of being a pilot when he was young. However, he could not pursue it as he has a fear of heights and wasn’t very good in academics.

3.  Relationship with Darren Lehmann

The current Australia coach Darren Lehmann and Harris go a long way back. Lehmann was his captain at South Australia (SA) and then coached him at Queensland, Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab and ultimately Australia. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Harris said, “On the personal side he’s [Lehmann] been a mentor of mine for a long time. I spoke to him about leaving SA. He was probably the second person I told after my dad. I rang him to get his opinion. He got me over to the IPL [Indian Premier League], and I had him up here with the Bulls, and he’s been great for me and my cricket.”

4.  Move from South Australia

Harris played for South Australia for the first six seasons in First-Class cricket. He finished with them in 2007-08, having played 26 matches for them and taken 67 wickets at a high average of 37.00. At Queensland, he improved as he played 22 matches for them and took 101 wickets at 23.38. In his first season at Queensland, he was called up for the Australian team.

5.  IPL experience

Harris was a part of the Deccan Chargers side that lifted the IPL 2009 in South Africa. He then played for the Kings XI Punjab. In both teams, Adam Gilchrist was his captain. Harris has not featured in the IPL after 2013.

6.  Stupendous ODI stats

Harris played 21 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia and took 44 wickets at an impressive average of 18.90. Harris picked up five-wicket hauls in his second and third ODIs, both against Pakistan. Thus, at the end of three games, he had 11 wickets. Harris played his last full ODI series in 2010 and made sporadic appearance in the green and gold thereafter, the last coming in 2012.

7.  Elite 30-plus club

Harris made his Test debut at the age of 30 in 2010 and went on to take 113 wickets in the format. He is one of the few bowlers to have taken over 100 wickets after making his Test debut post the age of 30. The other men who did it are Clarrie Grimmett, Bruce Yardley,Dilip Doshi andSaeed Ajmal .

8.  Parallels with other fine Australian bowlers

Harris picked 113 wickets in 27 Tests. Go back in history and you would find that Bruce Reid too had the exact same returns in his Test career. Like Harris, injuries also played a big part in curtailing Reid’s career. To put things in perspective: At the end of 27 Tests, Glenn McGrath had 113 wickets. McGrath went on to soar past 600.

9.  Preserved for the Ashes

Ahead of the Ashes 2015, there was a proper plan of keeping Harris fresh as he wasn’t given any workload post the Test series against India earlier this year. He even missed the West Indies tour as he was in Australia for the birth of his first child. Harris flew to England and played the tour game, but then injured himself, which ended his career.

10.  Commentator and pundit

When Harris was serving time away from cricket to recover from injury, he signed up for commentary for Australia’s domestic matches in 2014. Later, he was also a part of the expert panel during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. Harris could consider this as a career post retirement.