Daniel “Doc” Harris, the man who steered the Redbacks to a rare championship title, has quietly retired from the game.
It was Harris, along with Cameron Borgas, who batted South Australia to victory in the KFC Big Bash Twenty20 series final at Adelaide Oval in January 2011.
Harris’s consistent form at the top of the order that season saw him named the Australian Cricketers Association’s Twenty20 Player of the Year.
The Big Bash trophy – the Redbacks first in any form of the game since 1996 – renewed confidence among a group that had becomne accustomed to losing.
South Australia has become competitive in the seasons since, although it has still struggled to add to its trophy cabinet.
As the Redbacks folded up their Sheffield Shield hopes in Hobart yesterday, Harris had already decided to pack his kit.
One of the true tradesmen of the game, he has made a quiet exit from all forms of Australian cricket.
A qualified doctor, the source of his nickname, Harris bowed out after the final game of the Big Bash League 3 season in the Renegades final match against the Strikers on Adelaide Oval in late January.
“I’ve finished up for Woodville, and told the Renegades I’m not playing next year,” Harris explained.
“My New Zealand team made the Champion League after winning the T20 tournament over there, so I’ll probably go to that in September, but there is no more cricket after that for me.”
The short forms of the game had extended his career after his time in the Shield side ended in 2012.
He was a member of the Northern District triumph in New Zealand this summer, and played T20 cricket in the Bangladesh and India Premier League competitions for the Deccan Chargers and the Khulna Royal Bengals respectively.
His elevation to first class level started back in 1999, where Harris represented Australia at Under 19s level.
He played 58 matches for South Australia debuting against the touring Pakistan side in December ’99, but he had to wait to the 2006-07 summer to become a regular member of the team.
His career including a highest score of 166 not out against Victoria at Adelaide Oval, in a game where he led his state for the first time, among five centuries.
The last of his 49 one-day appearances for South Australia was the brilliant victory in the Ryobi Cup 50 over competition in February 2012 at Adelaide Oval in a heart shopper against the Tasmania Tigers, where Harris made a impressive 60 in a 133-run opening partnership with Michael Klinger and the Redbacks won the game from the final ball of the match.
At SACA grade level Harris is one of the modern icons of the game, leading the Woodville Cricket Club back from the abyss, captaining them to three recent A grade flags.
In the 2008-09 triumph over Northern Districts, Harris collected the David Hookes “player of the match” medal for his all round effort of 44 with the bat and 3/30 with the ball.
When he was a teenager, he was a part of the clubs West End one-day cup victory in 1998-99, winning the Bob Zadow medal for his unbeaten 65.
He was the Fred Godson medallist as the best player in the SACA one-day season in 2005-06.
From his early teenager years, when his parents would drive him down to town from Yorke Peninsula to play juniors at Woodville to his final innings with the Renegades, Harris has always played the game in the correct spirit.