Cricket: Australia fast bowler Harris announces shock retirement

Cricket: Australia fast bowler Harris announces shock retirement
In this file picture taken on March 5, 2014, Ryan Harris of Australia celebrates on Day 5 of the third Test match between South Africa and Australia at Newlands in Capetown.

LONDON - Veteran Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday, just four days before the start of the Ashes.

The 35-year-old had been left out of Australia's final warm-up match against Essex after suffering a recurrence of the knee trouble that has plagued his career.

Scans revealed that his right knee had suffered more damage.

"Given the news I received yesterday, and after talking it over with my family, I know now is the right is the time to step away from cricket," Harris said.

Cricket Australia said that 22-year-old Pat Cummins has been called up to replace Harris ahead of the first Ashes Test which gets underway in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Harris took 113 wickets in 27 Tests after only making his debut in 2010 at the age of 30.

His best figures were 7-117 against England at Chester-le-Street in 2013. He also played 21 one-day internationals, claiming 44 wickets at an average of 18.90.

"I'm pretty lucky, I have had a wonderful career and nothing made me prouder than pulling on the Baggy Green," added Harris.

"I played 27 more Tests than I ever thought I would and I have relished every single moment of them." "This is a very special team and I know they will do Australia proud in this Ashes Series. I know I will certainly be watching every ball.

"I am lucky enough to have a wonderful family who have supported me through the ups and downs of my career and I'm looking forward to the next chapter of my life with them and spending time with my new son Carter." Australia coach Darren Lehmann described Harris as one of the most talented players he has worked with.

"Ryan always gave it his all for his country and he epitomises everything the baggy green stands for," said Lehmann.

"His never say die attitude was his signature as he left absolutely nothing on the field each time he played and I think that is something for which he should be incredibly proud."

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