A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Ryan Harris gives up Big Bash League campaign to focus on recovery

Harris is expected to by fully fit before the start of Australia’s back-to-back Ashes campaign

Australia pace bowler Ryan Harris has given up his hopes of playing in this year’s edition of the Big Bash League in order to focus on becoming fully fit by the time the back-to-back Ashes series against arch-rivals England begins.

Harris was sidelined in August last year after undergoing surgery to repair a rotator cuff in his shoulder, but he admitted that his recovery period had taken longer than expected since he had initially hoped to be chosen for the recently concluded three-Test series against Sri Lanka.

Harris has started bowling once again, but he is still unable to deliver a ball at full pace or from his usual run-up spot, which is exactly why he decided to skip the Big Bash League.

“It’s disappointing because I am pretty close but to push now might not turn out to be the best thing for longer term,” Harris said. “Everyone agrees that I will be best suited to come back with Toombul in club cricket first up in January and then aim to be considered for the first Queensland games after the BBL.

“I’ve been feeling pretty good in the nets so far, and while I’m not bowling off the full run-up or at full pace, I’m very positive about getting up to that level soon.”

James Hopes, who is captain of the Brisbane Heat, which is the Big Bash League franchise Harris was supposed to play for, praised the pace bowler for his conservative approach and expects him to return to international cricket with a vengeance.

“I pushed myself too hard with a knee injury last year for the first half of the BBL,” Hopes said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to take stock and opt for a less aggressive recovery schedule that got me back fit and well in time for the remaining Shield and one-dayers, and that’s what we’re going to do with Ryano.

“He is bowling really well at this stage of his recovery, but it would have been unfair to throw him back into a BBL game and expect him to go full tilt from the outset. This is the best thing for him and will give him plenty of playing time for Queensland and allow him to build a case for the Australian tours to India and England.

“I’m firmly convinced that with his bowling skill set, he is comfortably in the ranks of the best Test bowling line-up that Australia can field.”

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