The Indian Cricket League contract and upcoming beach cricket commitments give off a whiff of superannuation, but Chris Harris is a long way off being retired from the domestic cricket circuit.
The 39-year-old is back from his latest stint captaining the Steve Rixon-coached Hyderabad Heroes in the Indian Cricket League (ICL) and announced his return to Christchurch by steering his beloved St Albans club side to victory over Marist-Harewood in men's one-day cricket on Saturday.
Now the former Black Caps all-rounder expects to be named in the Canterbury team for its State Shield campaign which begins with a match against Otago at QE II Park on Sunday either side of his three-weekend stint representing New Zealand in a beach cricket tri-series in Australia next month.
"I will be playing for Canterbury. Part of the reason I signed up for the beach cricket is that it looks fantastic and I want to be a part of it, but also because of not knowing what I was going to be allowed to do here.
"Things are still very much up in the air with the ICL scenario ... but fortunately I'm still eligible to play for Canterbury it seems so I'm looking forward to playing as many of the one-dayers as I can before I go to Australia. I think I'm eligible for about five or six and then hopefully the semifinals and final and hopefully all of the Twenty20 as well.
"I think I've had about 20 seasons there now and I'll continue to try and play cricket for Canterbury for as long as I play cricket and for as long as I'm good enough to do so."
Harris looked in fine nick for St Albans and had another successful time of it in the ICL, leading the defending champion Heroes back to the finals.
After losing game one, the Heroes pushed the series to a decider in which a blistering 111 in 44 balls by Imran Nazir helped the Lahore Badshars to an eight-wicket win.
Composed entirely of ex-Pakistan internationals, the Badshars also boast players of the calibre of Inzamam-ul-Haq, Azhar Mahmood, Saqlain Mushtaq, Naved-ul-Hasan, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mohammad Sami and Mohammad Yousuf.
Harris then led the ICL World team against an ICL Pakistan side, which ended prematurely after the terror attacks on Mumbai. Despite that, Harris says he has no qualms about returning to the Heroes.
"While it was pretty scary stuff and everyone's thoughts go out to the people of India and Mumbai, the security over there is even tighter now.
"I don't think any of our guys will have a problem with going back I certainly don't."
On the beach cricket front, New Zealand is defending the title it won against England and Australia last summer.
Harris is set to be joined in the side by Martin Crowe, Mark Greatbatch, Danny Morrison, Nathan Astle, Dion Nash, Stephen Fleming and Craig McMillan in matches against the host and South Africa at Coolangatta.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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