Former England fast bowler retires


Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison has retired from professional cricket.

Former England fast bowler Steve Harmison has retired from professional cricket.

Harmison, who played 63 Tests, 58 ODIs and two T20Is between 2002 and 2009, did not play one match during Durham's County Championship Division One title-winning campaign this year.

His retirement follows those of former international team-mates Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones recently, although the latter has only quit first-class competition – and will continue to be available for Twenty20 cricket with Glamorgan.

"Today I am announcing my retirement from professional cricket," Harmison told the <i>Sunday Sun</i>. "I was hoping to go out on a high in my benefit year but my body has not allowed me to, and I have not made a single first-team appearance.

"With my contract up at the end of the season, I have known for a while I would be calling it a day. But I did not want to take the shine off such a magnificent campaign for Durham by announcing it before the end.

"I may not have been able to contribute in the way I wished, but I have at least got what I most wanted out of the 2013 season – the County Championship trophy back in the cabinet at Chester-le-Street. So now, with the club's end-of-season awards night out of the way, I can make my decision public."

Right-armer Harmison took 226 Test wickets, eight five-fors and a solitary 10-for included, at an average of 31.82. The 34-year-old's first-class tally totalled 744 wickets in 211 fixtures. Younger brother Ben, meanwhile, will continue to represent Kent.

"I had plenty of highlights in an England career that spanned nine years, during which time I became the world's top-ranked Test bowler. But my thoughts always come back to Durham," he added.

"The picture which gives me the most pleasure was of me walking off the field at Canterbury on the day we won Durham's first Championship. One hand, with its wrist broken, is clutching a stump, the other is around my brother Ben. A handful of people have won Championships with Durham, but we are the only brothers."