Image courtesy of: The Metro
“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”
England pace bowler Steve Harmison, who picked up 223 wickets in 63 Test matches, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Despite having an illustrious 17-year career with Durham, Harmison did not play a single game in this year’s County Championship, which his side ended up winning.
“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,” Harmison told the Sunday Sun newspaper. “With my contract up at the end of the season, I have known for a while I would be calling it a day.”
Harmison has also represented England in 58 ODIs and taken 76 wickets at a respectable average of 32.64.
He also played two Twenty20 Internationals against Australia and Sri Lanka.
However, his crowning achievement came during the 2005 Ashes series, where he took 17 wickets in five Tests to lead England to a 2-1 win over arch-rivals Australia.
With Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff already having announced their retirements, it means that Simon Jones is the only member of the fearsome foursome to still be playing competitive cricket.
In 2004, Harmison briefly topped the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test bowlers rankings after producing figures of 7-12 against the West Indies in Jamaica.
However, after the 2005 Ashes series, Harmison began to lose steam and soon lost his place in the national team.
During the time he was not playing for England, he was making an impact in first-class cricket as he finished atop the wicket-takers list in Durham’s county triumphs in 2008 and 2009.
“There have been good and bad times but the way I look at life is you always have to learn from your mistakes,” Harmison said. “If you do, sometimes they’re not a bad thing.
“No one’s more frustrated than me at how little I’ve played for Durham in the last few years, but injuries are part of being a fast bowler.
“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.”