DateLine: 19th October 2005
Andy Harris is a consistent bowler who when in form and confident can be a very effective county performer. His contribution to Nottinghamshire’s championship winning 2005 season was very significant, with his 47 wickets at 25.82 coming at the excellent strike rate of 38.9, and his 6-76 skittling Kent’s second innings in the victory which gave Nottinghamshire the title when Harris trapped Amjad Khan LBW. When out of rhythm Harris can have a tendency to pitch too full too often, although for a bowler who snares a lot of his victims either bowled or LBW that is understandable and perhaps an occupational hazard. He was selected for the England A tour to Australia in 1996-7, although he returned to soldier through a 1997 season which brought him far less joy than the previous one (35 wickets at 48.40 rather than 1996’s return of 53 at 26.03). Rumours of unnecessary pressure to tinker with his action on tour may or may not have contributed to such a dip, though there can be no doubting that he came back a significantly less effective bowler. Harris was one of several to professionally benefit from the captaincy of Dean Jones in 1996, as his belief in fielding young bowlers ahead of colleagues vastly more experienced but close to retirement suited him perfectly as he played a big part in perenially unfashionable Derbyshire finishing runners-up in the championship in 1996. He is also worthy of note for being only the third ever player in the history of the game to be given out ‘Timed Out; in April 2003, when his limping to the wicket as last man in (he had a groin strain) to allow Chris Read to add 6 runs to his 94* wasn’t sufficiently quick enough for the keen cricketers of Durham University, who were obviously eager to get on with the business of collapsing in their second innings as quickly as possible.
(Article: Copyright © 2005 Matthew Reed)