As part of that plan, the 35-year-old will sit out the remainder of the my FootDr Queensland Bulls' Bupa Sheffield Shield programme but, after the season is over, he will play centre wicket matches with the Cricket Australia National Performance Squad in the build-up to that Ashes campaign.

Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's Executive General Manager, Team Performance, said: "With Ryan, our number one priority is to ensure he is 100 percent fit and available for this winter's Ashes series.

"He has had a heavy bowling workload over the past couple of months and actually bowled more balls from November to January this summer than in the corresponding period twelve months earlier.

"It has already been documented that Ryan will miss the tour of the West Indies as his wife prepares to give birth to their first child, and by giving him this structured programme to rehabilitate his knee, improve his physical conditioning and gradually build his bowling workload, we can ensure he is absolutely ready for the Ashes tour."

Harris has been a key performer for Australia in the past two Ashes series. In 2013, he took 24 wickets in four Tests at 19.58 each in UK, and last summer, in five matches, he picked up a further 22 wickets, this time at 19.31 apiece.

Harris took a further 10 wickets in the series win in South Africa early last year but then required surgery on his left knee and the recovery period meant he missed the series against Pakistan in the UAE. He then took 10 wickets against India, playing three matches in the recent four-Test series.

"I want to play as much cricket as I can as I know you are a long time retired but I recognise this is the best approach to ensuring I am absolutely right for The Ashes. I have huge ambitions to help us win a series in the United Kingdom and that goal is something that will drive me on over
the coming months," Harris said.

Australia's opening match of its Ashes tour is against Kent at Canterbury starting on June 25 and the first Test begins in Cardiff on July 8.

Latest News from Sports News Desk