Paul Lee Harris
November 02, 1978, Salisbury (now Harare), Rhodesia
Right hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
Rhodesian-born slow left-armer Paul Harris is tall and not unlike the former England star Phil Tufnell in appearance and style. He played 37 Tests for South Africa and was closing in on 400 first-class wickets when he announced he would retire at the end of the 2012/13 season.
Harris was brought up in Cape Town and made his first-class debut for Western Province in 1998 but his progress was blocked by Paul Adams and Claude Henderson. He moved to Northerns in October 2002 but it took until 2005, under new coach Richard Pybus, for Harris to establish himself. A haul of 49 wickets in the 2005/06 SuperSport Series, which no bowler bettered, put him in the frame for a call up to the Test side. His overlooking prompted Harris to consider turning his back on South Africa. He played for Warwickshire as a Kolpak player in 2006, taking 31 wickets but after Nicky Boje stormed into retirement from international cricket, disenchanted with his country's treatment of spinners, Harris was back in the frame and eventually made it into the South African squad for the Boxing Day Test against India in 2006.
Harris' selection was a departure from the usual South African policy of choosing spinners who can also contribute with the bat and in the field. His debut came in the New Year's Test and he took four first-innings wickets - including one Sachin Tendulkar - and will perhaps be remembered most for his nagging, over-the-wicket line that decidedly put the Indian batsmen in a shell, and helped South Africa wrestle back the initiative.
He showed great promise in 2007, picking up 12 wickets at 20.66 against Pakistan in October, including his first five-wicket haul in the first Test at Karachi. He was named as one of South Africa's Players of the Year for his efforts but struggled to build on his potential in 2008, picking up 24 wickets in the calendar year at a bloated 45.04. Harris found some form in 2009, but a poor showing in the third Test against England in January 2010 - and the subsequent call-up, quickly rescinded, of the ineligible Pakistan-born legspinner, Imran Tahir - meant Harris's place in the team was no longer assured.
Harris went on to tour India - five wickets at 59.40 - West Indies - five at 71.60 - and Dubai - seven at 32.85 against Pakistan - but the return to some kind of form was shortlived and the home series against India would prove Harris' last. His four wickets at 64.25 and the qualification of Tahir saw Harris dropped under new coach Gary Kirsten.
Ken Borland and ESPNcricinfo staff
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