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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 hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
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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.