Full name David Harris
Born 1755, Elvetham, Hampshire
Died May 19, 1803, Crookham, Hampshire (aged 48 years)
Major teams Hampshire
Batting style Left-hand bat
"Good" David Harris was a right-arm fast bowler of renown, described by John Nyren as "masculine, erect and appalling", who changed the game almost single handed. He practised bowling on a length and got balls to spit at batsmen - cricket until that time had been largely played on the ground - leaving victims' fingers "ground to dust against bat, his bones pulverised, and his blood scattered over the field." The result was that the old hockey-style bats soon gave way to the modern-style flat-faced types. The other change was that forward defensive shots became necessary to counter the bowling, and the new types of bats were more suited to that as well.
His tally of wickets was immense, and would have been greater had catches been credited to bowlers in those days. In later years he suffered terribly from gout, and he brought an armchair onto the field and sat down between deliveries. When the gout was severe, there are accounts of him using crutches. "He was of strict principle," wrote Nyren, "high honour, inflexible integrity, a character on which scandal or calumny never dared to breathe."
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