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Paul Harris announces retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 8, 2013

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Paul Harris is relieved after getting a breakthrough, West Indies v South Africa, 2nd Test, St Kitts, 4th day, June 21, 2010
Paul Harris took 103 wickets for South Africa © Associated Press
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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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (January 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

See you in Amsterdam soon. Keep well Harro!

Posted by Anil_Koshy 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.

Posted by Clan_McLachlan 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.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2013, 10:40 GMT)

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

Posted by creekeetman 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.

Posted by   on (January 9, 2013, 6:19 GMT)

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

Posted by anver777 on (January 9, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

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

Posted by CricketIsnotlife 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.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster 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.

Posted by Robster1 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.

Posted by Australian_flatTrack on (January 8, 2013, 23:33 GMT)

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 08 2013, 21:02 PM GMT) nathan Lyon makes him look like Murali

@ hhillbumper, Yes Lyon isn't a Test-Standard bowler but he's the only one we've got right now, and our quicks make up for it.

Posted by Australian_flatTrack on (January 8, 2013, 23:31 GMT)

Harris did a good holding job as a bowler, and despite spinning it no more than Nathan Lyon, built pressure for utilization by the SA quicks. He could be quite negative though, especially if a batsman was on 100 +

Posted by hhillbumper on (January 8, 2013, 21:02 GMT)

nathan Lyon makes him look like Murali

Posted by   on (January 8, 2013, 18:14 GMT)

- the South African King of Spain. When you've got so many class seamers and good batting a steady spinner is always good, even if they go with the arm. Look at how NZ are missing Danny V...

Posted by 777aditya on (January 8, 2013, 17:20 GMT)

Is this the second time he has announced his retirement? seemed like had read about it earlier - deja vu - that too of a nobody like Paul Harris is depressing!

Posted by LEGEND_KILLAS on (January 8, 2013, 16:52 GMT)

he was trash anyways, left arm rollers are not need in international cricket

Posted by   on (January 8, 2013, 15:26 GMT)

Huge loss for SA, he received a raw deal when he was axed for Imran Tahir. He wasn't even allowed to compete. Then Peterson overstepped him (which I agree with because Peterson can bat too). Still, Harris was a great ambassador for test cricket. He always gave his best.

On a side note, the spin bowling department all of a sudden looks bare again. With Harris retiring, Tahir bowling poorly, Botha relocating, Boje limiting himself to the short format, Con de Lange being done away with, Thandi Tshabalala bowling mutton pies, and Werner Coetsee not bowling enough....the cupboard looks bleak. Phangiso is not test standard. My next pick would be Harmer from Warriors....he looks promising.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (January 8, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

Did a good job a holding spinner for SA in test matches and in my opinion was the start of SA actually taking a spinner as an important component in test matches to ease the burden of fast bowlers. Paul Harris didnt rip teams out with Spin but we can all agree that he turned the ball more than Nathan Lyon !!!

Posted by SunAndSea on (January 8, 2013, 14:16 GMT)

He was better than people (especially Australia in 2008) gave him credit for. The belting that Tahir got on the last tour to Oz puts Paul's performances in perspective. Also makes you realise how daft Geoff Boycott was when he called Harris a "buffet bowler".

Posted by indianpunter on (January 8, 2013, 13:14 GMT)

One of the best spectator banners i have ever seen at a cricket ground was at Capetown when India played SA a few yrs ago. It said ' Harris, we have seen your straight one, now show us some variety". That was hilarious, and SA fans taking the mickey out of their own. Harris' held his own in a team full of bowling superstars and for that he deserves credit.

Posted by   on (January 8, 2013, 12:55 GMT)

he was Very fine bowler with good line length

Posted by Gordo85 on (January 8, 2013, 12:45 GMT)

I liked Paul Harris, I thought that he was better than what people were saying. But I think it is the right thing for him to do to let younger spinners play and develop before him. There must come a point when you ask yourself why am I still playing for if I can't play internationally again.

Posted by LillianThomson on (January 8, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

I always admired Paul Harris.

He may have had limited ability, but he did everything within his power to eke out every possible wicket and run he could.

He was a brave and calm nightwatchman too. As I watched New Zealand's Patel back away in cowardly fashion last week it evoked memories of the guts and courage of Paul Harris.

But I suspect that the retirement is premature. Australia has already exposed Imran Tahir, and even if the Pakistanis don't expose Peterson in South Africa, I'm sure that they will end his career on the return tour to the UAE.

Posted by   on (January 8, 2013, 12:22 GMT)

Paul Harris, Ashley Giles, Robert Croft....all the same type of bowler. Basically non-spin spin bowlers. Holding up an end was their stock-in-trade, with the occasional flash of brilliance with the ball (Giles' ball of the century to Damien Martyn) and the ability to chip in with the bat, too.

Harris was ok, Tahir is now looking as bad as Harris was. A spinner would help RSA but if we keep Vern, Dale & Morkel around as well as the returning Duminy, there's no great need for a South African Ajmal right now.

Posted by satish619chandar on (January 8, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

A very good cricketer. He doesnt turn the ball much, doesnt toss it up always and try to draw the batsman out of the crease and all these talks have no value before him. A very good team man who added very valuable runs in the lower order many a times and a very very steady bowling option who made sure there were no cheap runs considering spin is one weaklink of the SA attack. Never really allowed the opponent to milk him and in turn, maintaining the pressure which is very handy and deadly utilised by the heavy pace bowling lineup. Robbie is a able replacement for Harris. I dont see much future for Tahir as he tends to leak runs at a fairly good pace leaving the pressure to the main bowlers to do the dual role of attack and defend at same time. Good luck Harris on a bright future.

Posted by Thefakebook on (January 8, 2013, 12:07 GMT)

The big fella was alwas underrated still is!But 103 wicket as a Spinner in PACE dominated SA attack is awesome!Even though his skill won't be dearly missed by the SA but his scrappyness will be!

Posted by gsingh7 on (January 8, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

spin cupboards bare for sa, non spinner tahir or peterson are best u got?? hope pak punish them severly for bowling club class bowlers

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 8, 2013, 11:20 GMT)

He may not have been a big turner of the ball (in fact only Ashley Giles turned it less) but he made the most of what he had and gave everything every time he played. Others with more natural talent have achieved less.

Posted by KunzMan on (January 8, 2013, 11:02 GMT)

@ShazliL Isn't that a good thing?

Posted by freeurmind101 on (January 8, 2013, 10:59 GMT)

Pay no attention to commentators like Boycott who referred to him as a "buffet" bowler, Harris was a great competitor, who could always be relied on to keep it tight at one end and bowl long spells. SA cricket will miss you.

Posted by Shazli on (January 8, 2013, 10:38 GMT)

another gone....we lose old player rapidly...........

Comments have now been closed for this article

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