Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris has admitted that he had almost sacrificed his dream of playing for Australia to forge a career in arch-rivals England.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, had Harris been tempted to join the England team, he could not have collected the wickets of three top order England batsman on the opening day of a Lord's Ashes Test with his compelling but rarely seen combination of swing and seam.
The report further said that had he moved to England, the right-arm quick would not have been the standout bowler for Australia on a difficult day for the touring fast bowlers.
Even as he returned to the Australian Test team after a 15-month hiatus, Harris revealed that he had almost come to England after a passport meeting with England and Wales Cricket Board's (ECB) Mike Gatting, although he returned to Australia after getting a lucrative multi-year deal from Queensland, which came through at the same time.
According to the report, Harris, who was born and raised in Australia although his father was born in Lancashire, played at Lord's and took 4-36 against Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) during a short county stint for Sussex in 2008.
Stating that he believed that he might have gotten one last chance to play for Australia, Harris said that he refused Gatting's offer and moved to Queensland, and the report added that the bowler has achieved a special score of 47 wickets at 23.63 despite playing in only 12 Tests in three years.
However, the report added that a probable English passport is not the only thing that could have kept Harris from playing for Australia, adding that constant injury setbacks to different parts of his body have made it near-impossible for him to string matches together.
But, with his luck and his high rating with the selectors, Harris successfully made a recovery from shoulder surgery in time to star at the end of the domestic season for Queensland, and overcame an Achilles problem picked up at the Indian Premier League (IPL) in time to be right for the Ashes.