Friday, December 30, 2011

Chris Harris

Chris Zinzan Harris (born 20 November 1969 in Christchurch, New Zealand) is a former New Zealand cricketer who had become, over the course of the 1990s, a folk-hero in New Zealand cricket.

A fine left-handed middle-order batsman and deliverer of right-arm slow-medium deliveries, Harris has rescued the New Zealand team's batting on numerous occasions, and his deceptive looping bowling has often restricted the run rates of opposition batting line-ups.

In first-class cricket Harris has played 128 matches and scored over 7000 runs at an average of over 45, including 13 centuries with a highest score of 251*. He has taken over 120 wickets at and average of 38, with best figures of 4/22. He has never been able to successfully make the step up to Test cricket, however, and has been limited to just 23 Tests, where his average with the bat was only around 20, and he has only taken 16 wickets at 73 runs apiece.

Harris's biggest contribution to the game, however, is in the One Day International arena. In 2004, Harris became the first New Zealand player to have played 250 ODIs, in a season in which he was also the first New Zealander to take 200 wickets, at an average of 37 and an economy rate of just 4.28. In these matches he also scored over 4300 runs at an average of 29 and has over 90 catches in the field. Harris also has a reputation for his abilities as a close fielder, achieving many run-outs with accurate throwing from positions such as square leg.

Harris had been a genuine pace bowler - albeit a wayward one - as a junior cricketer, but decided, under the watchful eye of mentor John Bracewell, to sacrifice a few yards of pace for accuracy. His gentle looping swing bowling makes the batsman work hard, as the ball is less likely to speed to the boundary, and the deceptiveness of the ball's speed often leaves them attempting to play the ball too early.

Harris currently shares the world record for the most caught and bowled dismissals in ODIs with 29, the record is shared with Muttiah Muralitharan.

Unfortunately, Harris's performance in his 250th match was curtailed by a serious shoulder injury, and as of 2005[update] the future of his career is in some doubt. In his early post-shoulder injury games, he was forced to remove the medium slow from his repertoire, and was decidedly less effective. Performances for the New Zealand A side in September 2005 were more promising, however, with several very economical performances against Sri Lanka A.

In 2007 Harris played for Bacup in the Lancashire League and finished the season as the League's highest wicket-taker with 82 at 13.08. Harris is the captain of the Indian Cricket League's Hyderabad Heroes.

Harris is also a sensation at the indoor version of the game and represented Canterbury and New Zealand at will and is also involved in the coaching of Canterbury youth indoor cricket teams.

Harris has recently become on of many high-profile international cricketers to move to Zimbabwe to be involved in the country's cricket, and will now be in charge of the national U-19 side.

Harris's father Zin Harris was also a New Zealand international player, and his brother Ben Harris has played at first-class level. All three of these player share the family traditional name of "Zinzan", also shared by a distant relation, former All Black Zinzan Brooke.

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