New dad Harris itching for Ashes success

Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris says he’s well on the road to full fitness as the Ashes series in England draws closer.

The 35-year-old skipped Australia’s two-Test tour of the Caribbean to prepare his body for the Ashes and so he could be present at the birth of his first child, Carter, who was born last week.

Harris departs Australia on June 12 and has announced he’ll take part in a two-day academy match against a Hampshire Cricket XI on the Isle of Wight on June 18.

After spending much of his time away from cricket strengthening his wobbly knees, Harris says he feels ready to get back out on the field.

“I’ve been bowling for about a month, so I’ve had plenty of bowling to add to my intense gym program,” Harris said.

“It’s got me in a good place ready to go when I head over to England.

“All-in-all it’s probably been the best comeback I’ve had and I haven’t been as sore as I’ve been in the past.

“Now it’s a matter of getting the rhythm of the ball and getting to where I want to be with my bowling, which I’m getting closer and closer to every time I bowl.”

Harris’s fitness is a key component of Australia’s bid to defeat England on their soil for the first time since 2001.

The right-arm quick has nabbed 57 wickets at 20.63 in 12 Ashes Tests including 24 wickets the last time Australia toured England in 2013.

And while he’s loving the time at home with his wife Cherie and their new son, Harris says he’ll be ready to go when he joins his teammates in England later this month.

“I’ve played enough cricket over there to know what I have to do,” he said.

“It will be good to play a few games to revisit and get used to the conditions.”

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