Ryan Harris retires: Australian bowler forced to quit cricket after suffering recurrence of knee injury four days before start of the Ashes

Harris had already been ruled out of the First Test in Cardiff but has announced his retirement after suffering another injury

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Australian cricketer Ryan Harris has announced his retirement with immediate effect after being ruled out of the Ashes with injury.

Harris suffered a recurrence of the knee injury that has plagued his career last week and missed Australia’s final warm-up game against Essex, which resumed on day four today. Having made 27 Test appearances in his career – much fewer than he would have gained had it not been for a string of serious injuries – the 35-year-old was expected to be part of the bowling attack that will look to clinch a first Ashes victory on English soil in 14 years.

But the seam bowler has been forced to retire from the game having already been ruled out of the First Test in Cardiff that gets underway on Wednesday, and New South Wales’ Pat Cummings has been called up to take his place in the squad for the Ashes series against England.


"Given the news I received yesterday, and after talking it over with my family, I know now is the right is the time to step away from cricket," Harris said.

Having made his Test debut in 2010, Harris was in and out of the national side with his troublesome right knee flaring up regularly during his career, and he underwent major surgery last year. Having miss the recent Test series against the West Indies due to the birth of his first son, Harris came back into the squad for the Ashes only to feel soreness in the first match of thr Tour against Kent last week, and was replaced in the team for the game against Essex by Peter Siddle.

"I am pretty lucky, I have had a wonderful career and nothing made me prouder than pulling on the Baggy Green," added Harris, who will hold a media conference with Australia captain Michael Clarke following the conclusion of the tour match against Essex at Chelmsford on Saturday.

"I played 27 more Tests than I ever thought I would and I have relished every single moment of them."

Harris paid tribute to his team-mates.

"I couldn't have played with a better bunch of blokes and walking away from the team and our support staff is probably the hardest thing to stomach right now," he added in a statement from Cricket Australia.

"This is a very special team and I know they will do Australia proud in this Ashes series. I know I will certainly be watching every ball."

"I am lucky enough to have a wonderful family who have supported me through the ups and downs of my career and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my life with them and spending time with my new son Carter," he said.

"Whatever is next for me, and I don't know what that is right now, I know it will still involve cricket as that is what I love and I want to be able to give back to the game that has given me so much."

Australia coach Darren Lehmann paid tribute to Harris' professionalism.

"Ryan was one of the most talented players I had ever seen," said Lehmann, who had indicated Harris was on the fringes of selection for the first Ashes Test in Cardiff, where veteran Mitchell Johnson is expected to support the likes of quick Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood.

"Ryan always gave it his all for his country and he epitomises everything the baggy green stands for.

"His never-say-die attitude was his signature as he left absolutely nothing on the field each time he played and I think that is something for which he should be incredibly proud.

"We wish him all the best in whatever he decides to do next."

Cricket Australia chairman Wally Edwards added the organisations thanks to Harris on an outstanding career and burning desire to succeed.

Edwards added: "What made Ryan a special player is that he was there for his team when it mattered most. Lionhearted effort after lionhearted effort consistently put Australia in winning positions.

"He will be missed from the international scene but we look forward to him remaining involved with the game in some way."

Additional reporting by Jim van Wijk of PA