A shoulder reconstruction ruined Shane Harwood's 2009-10 and kept him to two FR Cup outings, but despite turning 36 before the start of the next summer, he retained his Cricket Victoria contract. It was especially disappointing for Harwood to sit out of the season after he had six months earlier become Australia's third oldest ODI debutant, behind Bob Simpson and Bob Holland. The call-up came in South Africa, where he also played two Twenty20s and made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals, taking a wicket with his first ball in the competition. The success came at the end of the 2008-09 season, in which Harwood was the leading FR Cup wicket taker with 24 at 16.25. His shoulder problem had threatened to derail the previous summer and he finished the season with groin trouble, just one in a long list of injuries throughout Harwood's career.
In 2006-07, he claimed 26 Pura Cup wickets at 30.26 and 13 at 16.30 in the domestic one-dayers as his sharp pace and awkward bounce dried up the opposition's runs. The standout moment was undoubtedly his surprise call-up into the Australia team for their Twenty20 match against England in January 2007. There were other highlights: he claimed a career-best 6 for 51 against New South Wales at the MCG and improved his record a month later with 6 for 38 against the same team at Sydney. But four separate health problems interrupted his progress and his propensity for sustaining injuries in unusual fashion continued. He hurt a calf walking down some stairs at the MCG during a match and missed games with a side strain and two separate buttock injuries.
Two years earlier he suffered a broken hand caused by his dog dragging him off his bike, a hamstring problem during a 31-ball ING Cup half-century, a cheekbone shattered by a Kade Harvey bouncer, and finally an eye complaint. In 2005-06 his form was so impressive that Shane Warne, his Victoria team-mate, wanted him chosen for the tour of South Africa, but Harwood had to settle for 30 Pura Cup wickets at 31. He stormed on to the state scene as a 28-year-old in 2002-03 when he became only the third Australian to collect a hat-trick on first-class debut. Playing Tasmania, he knocked over Shane Watson, Graeme Cunningham and Sean Clingeleffer and was soon playing for Australia A. A fan of Rodney Hogg, the former Australia fast man, Harwood would be driving trucks if he wasn't a cricketer.
Cricinfo staff August 2010