Ryan Harris was a most eloquent guest of honour at the Kingston Saints Cricket Club on Friday night in a World Cup eve function we ran in association with the Saints, the Austn Cricket Society and the Elite Cricket Academy. More than 80 attended and Ryan signed literally hundreds of autographs.
I MC’ed the night… here is the intro to Ryan and his speech:
Time to introduce our very special World Cup eve Guest of Honour.
No-one in world cricket finds a way to achieve quite like our guest who has a 100-plus Test wickets at a strike rate better than just about anyone.
Along the journey he has met the Delia Lama, which Rossy is the Carlton equivalent of Juddy, he’s had more operations on his right knee than our batting champion Fab has won batting averages, he’s dismissed Sachin, he’s collected a king pair and has been sent home early from more tours than he cares to remember…
Not only do Rino and I know more about Moonboots and crutches than most we have published books here for the same publisher here in Melbourne and when Rhino was in Christmas production I suggested to the publishers Hardie Grant that a good sub title could be Cricket’s Braveheart as the only one I know who has come back and defied the constant obstacles quite like Ryan is the great Dennis Lillee.
Ryan is in cotton wool right now for Sunday’s World Cup showdown — he’s working for Fox as a commentator – but from July he’ll be puffing out his chest in Cardiff, taking the newie with Mitchell Johnson as he looks to run through the Poms, again.
Just 12 months ago in Cape Town , Ryan drove his body, his unhappy hips, battle scarred knees and bung shoulder to extraordinary levels and from no where lifted Australia to a remarkable late win against the world No.1 Test nation South Africa.
Bow legged and refusing to concede to his exhaustion and a body screaming for rest, he touched his chest in memory of his mum and repeated silently: ‘Build the pressure, bowl with intent, keep it full and bring one back if you can.’
Australia had 5 overs to win the match and clinch the series. The South Africans had been staging a go slow and it seemed no one could get them out.
Within three balls he’d knocked over Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and against the odds, Australia had won the Test match it had no right to.
Ladies and gentleman of the Australian Cricket Society, Bryce’s Elite Cricket Academy and the Kingston Saints, please and can we be upstanding…. All the way from Brisbane, cricket’s braveheart, Mr Ryan Harris