March 23, 2010

Brydon Coverdale on Australia in New Zealand 2009-10

A memorable debut for the Harris family

Brydon Coverdale

Jim Harris looks on as his son Ryan runs through New Zealand on Test debut © Cricinfo Ltd

When Ryan Harris ran through the New Zealand lower order on Tuesday morning and helped Australia to victory, there was only one man at the Basin Reserve prouder of his efforts than the bowler himself. Sitting high up in the RA Vance stand, Jim Harris was a satisfied man, quietly watching his son getting rewarded for all his hard work.

It was an emotional time for the Harris family. Ryan said last week that when he received his baggy green he would be thinking of his mother Gai, who died from lung cancer in 2006. His father and brother Gavin were on hand to witness his Test debut, having flown out from Australia with only the hope that he would get the nod to play.

As it turned out, Jim nearly missed his son’s cap presentation as the public gates at the Basin Reserve were still closed when the Australians circled around their newest Test player on the ground on Friday morning. A quick appeal to the security staff and he was ushered around to another entrance, hustled in to the venue and was just in time to see the memorable moment.

Jim rode the highs and lows of the match with Ryan, from his first wicket when Michael Hussey held on to a catch at gully, to a worrying crash in the field with Mitchell Johnson that left them both a bit sore, to the three wickets he collected on the final morning to set up Australia’s win. That Harris finished the game with six wickets pleased his father – Jim had bet a mate that his son would take 12 for the series because “if he gets three in every innings he’s done his job”.

Ryan has a tattoo of his mother’s star sign on his chest and said during last week that “she’s always with me”. This week Dad was there, too, and boy was he proud.


Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Vim on (April 10, 2010, 22:44 GMT)

Well if the younger bowlers could stay upright and on the park, he wouldn't have been in the team at all so good luck to him.

I still think Hilfy is in the pecking order ahead of him along with Doug the Rug and Johnson but not sure about Peter Siddle. His summer was poor before he got injured.

Ryan Harris is a well-schooled pro and wouldn't let anyone down much.

Posted by sibul on (March 26, 2010, 18:22 GMT)

i appreciate that harris is a very good bowler but i dont think it is wise to keep him for the long run if austalian cricket sees a bright future

Posted by Chris on (March 23, 2010, 23:06 GMT)

Good on the NZ security for showing some common sense and getting Ryan's father and Brother into the ground!

Posted by haros on (March 23, 2010, 19:55 GMT)

my name is haris as well

i m with u ryan haris, keep it up , i wanna be cricketer like u

Posted by Rev on (March 23, 2010, 13:58 GMT)

Nice story Brydon. And it is refreshing to see security/groundstaff who aren't draconian idiots using common sense. I wouldn't be surprised if Harris had been making his debut here at home and his relatives were denied entry. On terrorism grounds of course.

Posted by MAP on (March 23, 2010, 13:46 GMT)


Posted by Jack on (March 23, 2010, 13:12 GMT)

While I see merit in Harris's selection, is he not yet another thirty something making his debut for Australia? Where is the investment in youth? If he makes himself a permanent fixture, where will the likes of siddle and hilfenhaus stand?

Posted by the star on (March 23, 2010, 11:38 GMT)

no throwing balls in the club house on quiz night jimbo! - good stuff RYANO!

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Brydon Coverdale
Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.

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