Harmison agrees new Durham deal

Former England pace bowler Steve Harmison has signed a new four-year contract with Durham.

The county have confirmed that the 31-year-old Harmison - left out of the 16-man party for England's four-Test tour to South Africa - has committed himself to the county until 2013.



The two-time Ashes winner has taken over 400 first class wickets for Durham, including 50 as they retained their LV County Championship title this season.



The Ashington-born player said: "I have always loved playing cricket for Durham and I'm incredibly proud to represent the club and to be part of the set up here.

"I'm looking forward to the next four seasons, especially 2010 as we look to win the Championship for a record third year."



Harmison, who last month claimed the wicket which clinched Durham's title-winning victory over Nottinghamshire, was voted the county's bowler of the year.



The county's head coach Geoff Cook said: "Stephen is a huge asset to our team.



"He has a great presence, both on the field and in the dressing room, and his commitment and dedication to the club have always been fantastic."



Chief Executive, David Harker, added on the county's official website, http://www.durhamccc.co.uk: "Stephen is a great performer for Durham and we are absolutely delighted that he will remain a major part of the team for the foreseeable future.



"Off the field we have a number of young players benefiting from his experience and guidance and that contribution cannot be under-estimated."



Harmison was reportedly overlooked for England's tour of South Africa after making it clear to the England and Wales Cricket Board that he was not willing to tour Australia in 2010-11.



It had been suggested Harmison does not like touring, and his record abroad does not compare favourably with his form on home soil.



In the lead-up to the squad being announced, Harmison said he would consider announcing his retirement from international cricket if England did not give assurances he would be more than a "bit-part" player.



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