Hampshire 319-7 Sussex 332 (Match drawn): Adams still hopes to sign 'amazing talent' Harris
Sunday 20 April 2008
Ryan Harris may have left Sussex in the lurch by returning to his native Australia after playing only one match, but the county would welcome the all-rounder back at Hove.
Chris Adams, captain of the champions, said he was disappointed that Harris, who holds a UK passport, had decided to play for Queensland as an Australian, thus rendering him unavailable as a Kolpak player. Harris made his debut in the season's opening match at Lord's against MCC, taking 4 for 36 after opening the bowling.
"He looks like an amazing talent," said Adams. "We will certainly keep an eye out for him in the next year or so. He may well fulfil that dream of playing for Australia."
Adams added that Harris could yet return to Sussex as an overseas player. "That is certainly an option. His parting words last night were that he's been hugely impressed with the set-up we've got and he very much wished he could have been part of it for a bit longer.
"He's a smashing lad, very un-Australian. He was hoping to spend a bit more time with us, a high-performing team, to see how good he actually is. We've parted on great terms."
Adams does, however, feel that the protocols now in place for overseas recruitment are right. "We want players to come over here and play for the right reasons, wanting to be part of English cricket for the right reasons.
"We now know Ryan was coming to further his experience, but his intentions were always to play for Australia and be an Australian playing in Australia."
When asked how Harris could have taken the ECB pledge a week before the MCC game, Adams replied: "I guess he was probably badly advised." The pledge includes the statement: "It is not my desire or intention to play cricket for any Full Member Country outside the European Economic Area at any time in the future."
This match was abandoned as a draw late in the afternoon yesterday. It got Sussex's title defence off to a stuttering start against Hampshire, who have been predicted to struggle this season after the departure of Shane Warne.
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