Paul Harris (South African cricketer)

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For the English cricketer, see Paul Harris (cricketer, born 1955).
Paul Harris
Pm cricket shots09 5810 closeup.jpg
Personal information
Full name Paul Lee Harris
Born (1978-11-02) 2 November 1978 (age 38)
Salisbury, Rhodesia
Nickname Harro, Harri
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Slow left arm orthodox
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 301) 2 January 2007 v India
Last Test 2 January 2011 v India
ODI debut (cap 91) 9 March 2008 v Bangladesh
Last ODI 14 March 2008 v Bangladesh
ODI shirt no. 2
Domestic team information
Years Team
2000–2002 Western Province
2002–2006 Northerns
2006–2007 Warwickshire
2004–2010 Titans
2010–present Lions
Career statistics
Competition Tests ODIs FC LA
Matches 37 3 112 51
Runs scored 460 1,630 67
Batting average 10.69 14.17 7.44
100s/50s –/– –/– –/3 –/–
Top score 46 55 15*
Balls bowled 8,809 180 25,771 2,190
Wickets 103 3 368 59
Bowling average 37.87 27.66 31.61 27.27
5 wickets in innings 3 20 1
10 wickets in match 1
Best bowling 6/127 2/30 7/94 5/27
Catches/stumpings 16/– 2/– 43/– 21/–
Source: CricketArchive, 6 February 2011

Paul Lee Harris (born 2 November 1978 in Salisbury, Rhodesia) is a South African cricketer who has played Test cricket as a left-arm orthodox spin bowler for the South African team since 2007. He has also played domestic cricket for Northerns, Titans, Western Province and Warwickshire.


Harris was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where his father Mark was a member of the British South Africa Police until 1980.[1] As a young child he moved with his family to South Africa and was brought up in Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa.[2][3] His father is a pastor in the Fish Hoek area.[1]

Harris lives in Olympus, Pretoria with his wife Marilet.[4]

Playing career[edit]

Late Cricket While playing for Fish Hoek High School Harris was spotted by Western Province coach Duncan Fletcher who brought him into the provincial underage system.[5] At Western Province Harris played alongside then-future England player Jonathan Trott.[6]

Domestic career[edit]

Harris made his first-class cricket debut for Western Province B in 1998 in an UCB Bowl match against Eastern Province B in Port Elizabeth.[7] It took over two years for Harris to play another first-class match. Due to intense competition for spinning roles, with Paul Adams and Claude Henderson being preferred over Harris, he only played two matches for Western Province, in March 2001 and February 2002.[8]

At the completion of the 2001–02 cricket season Harris transferred to Northerns. With the restructure of South African domestic cricket in 2004 Harris played for the Titans in the SuperSport Series while continuing to play occasionally for Northerns in the South African Airways Provincial Challenges.[8]

During the 2006 English cricket season, he joined Warwickshire under the Kolpak ruling after New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori was injured.[9] He immediately made his debut for the Bears in a Twenty20 Cup match against Worcestershire. He formed a spin bowling partnership with off-spinner Alex Loudon.[10] After representing South Africa internationally he became ineligible to play as a Kolpak ruling player for Warwickshire.[3]

International cricket[edit]

Following the retirement from international cricket of fellow spinner Nicky Boje in late 2006, he was given his first call-up for South Africa after Claude Henderson made himself unavailable.[2][11] He played his first match in the third Test of the 2006–07 South Africa-India series against India at Newlands Cricket Ground. His career was off to an eventful start, taking four wickets in the first innings including the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar.

Harris began to show some more promise on the tour to Pakistan in October and November 2007 taking 12 wickets at an average of 20.66 including best figures of 5–73 in the first Test in Karachi.[12][13]

Paul Harris training at SCG in January 2009

In August 2007 Harris, returning to the country of his birth, led South Africa A to a win over Zimbabwe A, taking nine wickets in a man of the match performance.[14]

In March 2008 Harris was selected in the South African One Day International team that toured Bangladesh. Harris played three ODI matches against Bangladesh in Chittagong, Mirpur and Dhaka.[15][16]

During South Africa's 2008 tour of England Harris' bowling style was derided by English commentator and former player Geoffrey Boycott as being "buffet" bowling.[17][18] In December 2009, in response to this and other criticism of the lack of spin in his bowling, he joked that "most people will say I’ve only got the straight one".[19]

Playing against Australia during their 2009 tour to South Africa Harris was key to ensuring a South African fightback in the third Test, taking nine wickets in the Protea's innings-and-twenty-run win. For his efforts he was named man of the match.[20]

In the second Test against India in February 2010 Harris bowled 12 wides, the most wides in a Test innings.[21]


Harris was named in the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack's 40 best players of 2007.[22] He was named South African Newcomer of the Year in the 2007 Mutual & Federal SA Cricket Awards.[23]


  1. ^ a b "Around and About". British South Africa Police Association. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Harris picked for SA squad". Pretoria News. Independent Online. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "South Africa / Players – Paul Harris". Cricinfo. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  4. ^ "Bigstar Players : Paul Harris : About Me". Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  5. ^ Owen-Smith, Michael (2 January 2007). "Titan Harris keen for a go at India today". Pretoria News. Independent Online. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  6. ^ Briggs, Simon (16 December 2009). "South Africa v England: Paul Harris aims to put mate Jonathan Trott off his game". The Telegraph. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Eastern Province B v Western Province B". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  8. ^ a b "First-Class Matches played by Paul Harris". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  9. ^ "Bears sign South African spinner". BBC Sport. 7 July 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  10. ^ Hampshire v Warwickshire, LV County Championship 2006 (Division 1), CricketArchive, Retrieved 25 April 2009
  11. ^ "Proteas pick uncapped spinner". Fox Sports. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  12. ^ "Pakistan v South Africa". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  13. ^ "Test Bowling for South Africa South Africa in Pakistan 2007/08". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Harris spins South Africa A to huge win". Cricinfo. 18 August 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  15. ^ "One-Day International Matches played by Paul Harris". Cricket Archive. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  16. ^ "Untried South Africans in line for one-day action". cricbuzz. 28 February 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  17. ^ Adams, Zaahier (23 March 2009). "I have come full circle – Harris". Cape Times. Independent Online. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  18. ^ Barbuti, Jon (11 December 2009). "Paul Harris hopes to be a star turn for South Africa". BBC Sport. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  19. ^ Dean, Geoffrey (19 December 2009). "Jocular finger spinners Graeme Swann and Paul Harris find plenty to laugh about". The Times. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  20. ^ Swanton, Will (23 March 2009). "Johnson smashes debut ton as South Africa take victory honours". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  21. ^ "Sehwag and Tendulkar seize control". The National. 15 February 2010. Retrieved 16 February 2010. 
  22. ^ "England pair named among Wisden Cricketers of the Year". The Times. 9 April 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 
  23. ^ "SA's cricketer of the year revealed". Independent Online. 10 May 2007. Retrieved 1 January 2010. 

External links[edit]