Easts captain Doug Harris will be the new captain of the CRCA representative team.
Easts captain Doug Harris will be the new captain of the CRCA representative team. Lynne Mowbray

Doug Harris appointed CRCA captain

EASTS Captain Doug Harris is a self-confessed cricket tragic who has the ability to read the game and get the best out of his players.

Harris has just been appointed as the Clarence River Cricket Association (CRCA) first XI captain and he is taken aback with the news.

“It was a bit of a shock, the job could have gone to anyone in the side,” he said.

“You have five guys who captain their club sides...they could have almost drawn it out of a hat, but it is an honour to be named as captain.”

Harris took up cricket at the age of 11 and like most young cricketers played at school level before he joined the Easts Cricket Club.

“I’ve always played for Easts except when I left Grafton to attend Uni. I played for Armidale Cricket Club and had a stint in Sydney with the Gordon Cricket Club,” he said.

Harris who works at Coutts Crossing as a teacher’s aide said he learnt his cricket knowledge from two special mentors whilst growing up.

“I learnt a fair bit about the game from two blokes that coached me, my Dad and Stuart Rowland, who was a former NSW Country captain,” Harris said

So what makes a good cricket captain? According to Harris you must have a good understanding of the game and try remain positive.

“You have to stay ahead of the game and always try to dictate the terms. Always be that one step ahead whether it be bowling or fielding changes...and more importantly keep everyone happy,” he said.

Harris said he tries not to model himself on other captains but instead listen to those who have been in the job for sometime.

“There have been lots of captains like Mark Taylor and Stephen Fleming who were fantastic captains. You probably don’t model yourself on anyone in particular but instead listen to the guys who have played a lot of cricket and have the experience...take on board what they say,” he said.

Harris is under no illusions that his club side, Easts, are struggling in the Premier League competition with only a couple of wins so far this season. So how does he keep his side upbeat and in a positive frame of mind?

“I try to remain positive but I’m also pretty demanding. I expect everyone to be a 100 percent committed all of the time, if we do slacken off I do get a bit cranky. But generally I’m always the first person to be enthusiastic and tell someone they’ve done a good job,” Harris said.

Harris said it is important for a captain to try and remain calm when the side is under pressure.

“Keeping everyone happy is paramount and you must try and keep your composure. Try not to panic and realise that in a game of cricket everything can change in one ball,” he said.

At this time of year most cricketers are enjoying some time off the field during the Christmas break and for some, cricket is the furthest thing from their minds, but not Harris.

“I’m heading down to the Sydney Test with BJ (Brendan Purser) and a few mates...I love my cricket,” he said.

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