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Harmison Retires

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guildfordbat
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Post by KP_fan Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:26 am

After Hoggard....now Harmison retires...aged 34 is not too old I would say.

At his peak he was one of the best fast bowlers I have seen from England...genuinely fast.

I do not have a view on the nuances of form / selection / player management but it's shame Englnad could not get more out of an express tear-away on his day a single handed match winner like Harmisson.
Perhaps due to the inclination of the current management towards line-n-length type medium pacers who can bat a bit.

SR of under 60 balls / wkt and nearly 4 wkts / test over 60 odd tests....merited more investment in this resource



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Post by Mike Selig Mon Oct 07, 2013 3:49 am

Most people you will talk to will say England persevered with Harmison for too long, and that he only really had 2 good years. I would say they got it about right, given how good he could be on his day. Possibly he would have benefited more from a different style of management, or better coaching, or..., who knows? Certainly he benefited from Fletcher's vision in picking not the best county players but people who he reckoned had the genuine potential to succeed at international cricket (of course for every Harmison there was a Saj Mahmood...).

Sad end to his career though: finished unfit, lazy and slow (according to guys I know at Durham Uni who played against him) and struggling to make Durhan's 2nd XI. I can somewhat understand that though, having been at one stage the best in the business it must be hard to motivate yourself to play county 2nd XI...

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Post by alfie Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:02 am

Fair to say he wasn't the most consistent...though on his day he was a terrific bowler.
Think England probably got the best they could have expected out of him : he was important in two or three series wins , and even in his couple of "postscript " matches he played a part. By his own admission he hated touring so the famous West Indian series was his only real overseas success; but it was notable !

Enjoyed watching him...good luck to him in retirement.

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Post by Guest Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:41 am

farewell Harmy!!!! That is now all of england's fantastic four from 05 all retired Sad

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Post by guildfordbat Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:15 pm

Mike Selig wrote:Most people you will talk to will say England persevered with Harmison for too long, and that he only really had 2 good years. I would say they got it about right, given how good he could be on his day. Possibly he would have benefited more from a different style of management, or better coaching, or..., who knows? Certainly he benefited from Fletcher's vision in picking not the best county players but people who he reckoned had the genuine potential to succeed at international cricket (of course for every Harmison there was a Saj Mahmood...).

Sad end to his career though: finished unfit, lazy and slow (according to guys I know at Durham Uni who played against him) and struggling to make Durhan's 2nd XI. I can somewhat understand that though, having been at one stage the best in the business it must be hard to motivate yourself to play county 2nd XI...
I think it'll be interesting to see how cricket history ultimately judges Harmison.

I don't say Mike is wrong in his comments about Harmison's England career but do feel it is worth emphasising that there was something rather special about him during a very special time for English cricket. There's a wonderful quote from Harry Pearson in his delightful book the Trundlers -  already plugged on the HoF thread - about Chris Old's contribution to the Ashes victory of 1981: ''And if Old was not himself great he had, in that Ashes series, been part of greatness, which is probably better.''

Now Harmy was a much better bowler than Chilly (hopefully younger readers will understand the nickname given to C.Old! Very Happy ). However, even though Harmison could be ''terrific'' as Alfie states, he was not ''a great'' for me. He falls down for lack of consistency and possibly also lack of international longevity. He was undoubtedly though a ''part of greatness'' in 2005 just as Old had been more than two decades earlier. In my view, Harmison's part was also a more substantial one. Is that enough to keep his name burning bright over future years? I suspect it might be. Timing is (almost) everything.

Sounds like a sad end to Harmison's county career. I'm too far away from the goings on at Durham to comment on any particular recentish issues but feel it only fair to flag that he was their leading wicket taker and bowler of the year in both 2008 and 2009 when they first won and then retained the County Championship. As a strong supporter of the county game, I am keen that his very significant contributions to such unprecedented success for Durham not be overlooked.

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Post by wheelchair1991 Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:32 am

harmy achieved more then 99% of cricketers in his career and I think he should be remembered fondly despite his difficulties in later years

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Post by Shelsey93 Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:54 pm

I would direct you towards this excellent piece on DEC by Ross Lawson - http://deepextracover.com/2013/10/07/steve-harmison-the-great-conductor-takes-a-final-bow/.

The final three years of Harmison's career have been most curious. This year in particular it was evident that he was nowhere near Durham's plans, yet he saw out his contract battling for a 2nd XI place. Particularly strange, I say, because I've never seen him as a lover of cricket, somebody who finds it easy to motivate himself. He's often appeared quite a sad figure during his elongated decline.

At his best it is needless to say he was very good. It probably flattered him to be world number one ranked for a while - he was never in the class of a Donald or Steyn, and Flintoff and Hoggard kept their good form going for a longer period. But variety was the key to that five man attack and in that sense Harmison did his job perfectly. The zenith was probably Jamaica 2004. From there it was a slow, mostly downward, curve. After 2005 he still had some superb matches - Manchester 2006 to give just one example. But he never again looked like somebody you could trust to lead your attack.

Guildford rightly alludes to his part in Durham's title wins of 2008 and 2009. On both occasions he did sufficiently well to win brief Test recalls.

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Post by msp83 Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:22 pm

On his day, Harmison was a force of nature. But he didn't like to be away from home too much and wasn't the most accurate bowler.
Harmison's role in the 05 Ashes can't be forgotten, and his role in the 2 county championship wins would have pleased him no end.
Wishing him all future success in life after cricket.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri Oct 11, 2013 1:54 am

An Ashes hero, more than 220 wickets for England and as devastating a piece of fast bowling (his 7-12 in the Windies) as you could hope to see.
At his peak, he was one of the best "fast and nasties". Certainly made his mark. Sad that the four greats (bowlers that is) of the 05 series have all given up first class cricket now.

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