South Africa news January 8, 2013

Paul Harris announces retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

Paul Harris, the South African spinner, is to retire at the end of the season, bringing to an end a 14-year first-class career.

Harris played 37 Tests for South Africa with his slow-left arm but nearly turned his back on international cricket after a stint as a Kolpak with Warwickshire in 2006. The retirement of Nicky Boje prompted Harris' eventual call-up and he went on to take 103 wickets at 37.87.

His last Test was in Cape Town against India in January 2011 after which he was dropped for legspinner Imran Tahir. As recently as the start of this season he indicated his intention to compete for a Test place once again.

Harris' first-class career began with Western Province in 1998 before he moved to Northerns in October 2002, establishing himself under coach Richard Pybus in 2005. He needs six more wickets to reach 400 in first-class cricket. His victims have so far come at 31.63 apiece.

"I would like to thank all the people who have helped me over my career," Harris said. " A special mention must go to Richard Pybus, who had the biggest coaching influence on my career. I am sure that I would not have played for South Africa if it had not been for him.

"I would also like to thank Ian Repton, the Nashua Titans physiotherapist; he really has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me stay on the park over the last 10 years. A big thank you also goes to my agent and friend, Barney Girnun; he has been there from the start and has always supported me through thick and thin."

Nashua Titans coach Matthew Maynard said: "Paul has been a great ambassador of the game and given tremendous service to the Nashua Titans for over ten years. He is respected by his peers and will be missed in the change room. We look forward to playing with him till the end of the season."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    See you in Amsterdam soon. Keep well Harro!

  • Anil on January 10, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Paul was a great competitor, he provided variety to the South African attack, which relied mainly on pace. A tally of 103 wickets by no means is a bad figure, besides. he was also a decent batsman.

  • Alan on January 9, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    A player who knew his limits and played to his strengths in all disciplines of the game. As a bowler he turned them just enough to beat both edges of the bat (ask Michael Clarke); all that "straight break" stuff is nonsense. As a batter he got into line, didn't try shots he didn't have and focused on a sound defense. To this he added safe hands in the slip cordon, where his lack of athleticism wouldn't be exposed (he's got plenty of illustrious company there). He knew his job and always performed for the team. Good luck Harro, hope the sun is bright and the surf is good.

  • Dummy4 on January 9, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    What a rippa!!! Harris does it again with a straight one!!!!!

  • alfred on January 9, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    @ cpt.meanster, a test bowling average of over 37 is not decent, its poor.... harris had a handfull of good spells, thats it, most of the time his bowling was below average and negative.

  • Dummy4 on January 9, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    Looked like he couldnt continue with his negative tactics any longer..LOL.

  • Anver on January 9, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Why not he start playing T20 globally like others do after their retirements......

  • Jay on January 9, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    Harris was a steady bowler. Someone a team like SA definitely need given the wicket takers like Steyn, Morkel and Co. In tests, a team does not bowlers like Harris to hold one end up or give a break to your strike bowlers and not end up giving too many runs with your 4th or 5th bowler. Harris was a perfect fit for that role. He was like a Larry Gomez was to the great West Indian side comprising Richards, Greenidge, Lloyd, Haynes, Murray.

  • Jay on January 9, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    I don't know what to say. I feel his retirement is premature. SA have betrayed him in a sense. He's way better than the Pakistani - Tahir. I remember how he frustrated India back in 2008 by bowling on the batsmen's legs from over the wicket. He did pick a few wickets in that series. SA may not miss him but when a bowler picks 100 odd wickets at test level at a decent average, then I am sure many people would agree that Paul Harris was doing something correctly. Enjoy your retirement Paul.

  • Rob on January 9, 2013, 1:39 GMT

    An underated bowler who always performed for SA. To this poster his finest moments seemed often to come at Newlands though he played a crucial role in the away wines in England and Australia in 2008. Go well Paul and thanks for all.