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Last Updated:  Thursday, 13 March, 2003, 12:13 GMT
Harris keeps ticking over
By Oliver Brett
BBC Sport at Centurion

Chris Harris bowls
Harris's idiocyncratic action has been a feature for 12 years
When Chris Harris made his international debut, John Wright, now the 48-year-old coach of India, was still in the New Zealand side.

That was back in 1991 and Harris has gone onto play 224 one-day internationals.

In the World Cup that followed a year later, he was one of an army of innocuous-looking medium-pacers who took the Kiwis to the semi-finals.

Now it is hard to imagine a Black Caps team without him in it.

He was probably one of the first of the bits-and-pieces players, a one-day specialist who developed a method and stuck with it.

Harris now holds a stack of World Cup records for New Zealand.

I love representing New Zealand and I love the game of cricket
Chris Harris
The balding 33-year-old is their leading wicket-taker in this competition, and has featured in two record partnerships.

So far in this tournament his economy rate has been outstanding and he is averaging 45 with the bat.

So what keeps "Harry" ticking?

"Just the hunger really," he told BBC Sport. "I love representing New Zealand and I love the game of cricket."

Harris has just completed a net session in the hottest part of the day while younger team-mates Shane Bond and Jacob Oram have been rested following the defeat to Australia.

Harris's bowling is always worth watching. He lands on his delivery stride early, almost bowling off the wrong foot, in the style of another Kiwi all-rounder, Lance Cairns.

"In 1996 [when the World Cup was held in the sub-continent] I changed to bowling fairly fast leg-spin from the medium-paced stuff I had bowled before.

"Now I just bowl a mixture of both. I probably bowl more seamers too," said Harris.

116 runs, highest 38*, ave 38.7
2 wkts, ave 64.5, econ 3.68
Harris's captain Stephen Fleming has kept observers on the edge of their seats with his dynamic captaincy.

But what is it like as a player having to cope with Fleming's whims?

There is never, for example, any consistency in the team's batting or bowling order.

"Sometimes it's difficult," admitted Harris. "But generally if he has a plan up his sleeve he lets the players concerned know so they have time to prepare.

"My role is to bowl in the middle overs - that's what's happened recently."

New Zealand's World Cup campaign ended in disappointment when they were outplayed by India and then saw Sri Lanka defeat Zimbabwe to snatch the last semi-final place.

It may well be have been Harris' final World Cup appearance, but such is his love of playing the game, no-one will be rushing to write him off.

Links to more New Zealand stories


India v New Zealand preview
13 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Key battles: India v New Zealand
13 Mar 03 |  World Cup
Have Your Say on India
07 Mar 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on New Zealand
10 Feb 03 |  Have Your Say
Australia comeback shatters Kiwis
11 Mar 03 |  World Cup

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