Harmison still wants England chance
Sunday 20 September 2009
Steve Harmison wants to continue playing for England. The Durham pace bowler missed out on a central contract last week but he is still hoping to be picked for the four-Test series of South Africa which begins in December.
Harmison was called up for the last two Ashes Tests but played no part in the current one-day series.
He told Sportsweek: "When the one-day series is out of the way I'll sit down and speak with the selectors.
"I am only going to retire if England don't want me any more. I don't want to play as a bit-part player.
"I fully understand this central contract issue. The simple fact is I've not done enough. I understand why I wasn't given a central contract because I hadn't done my job for England this year.
"But if they want me to go to South Africa I'll gladly go and be a full part of it."
England start their Champions Trophy challenge in South Africa against Sri Lanka on Friday. They then play two Twenty20s and five one-day internationals against South Africa in November before the Test series begins.
Harmison believes his absence would leave a void in England's bowling attack coming so soon after the Test retirement of Andrew Flintoff.
He said: "It would be unfair for me to walk away now. Andrew Flintoff's walked away. You're taking probably about 135 Test matches (it is 142, Flintoff 79, Harmison 63) out of the equation in a short space of time.
"For that experience alone it wouldn't be fair for me just to walk away. But I want to be part of a side playing rather than just carrying the drinks as I have been for the past couple of winters.
"If they want me to go I'll gladly go. If they don't want me to go then I'll retire.
"It's not fair on myself, not fair on the selectors and not fair on everybody else in England to keep coming back to somebody who they pick for one or two Test matches a year. I think they can move on from that."
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