London, July 15 (ANI): England's most expendable fast bowler Steve Harmison keeps coming back after being discarded, and is hoping to win his 62nd cap in the Second Npower Ashes Test against Australia.
"Every time I get knocked down, I'll fight hard to win my place back for the simple reason that I love playing for England, and I love earning the right to put on an England cap by playing for Durham," he said.
"If I didn't want to play for England, I would ring Lord's and tell them, but everything inside me is burning fiercely with the ambition to have another crack at the Aussies because I don't see my Test career being finished yet," The Mirror quoted him, as saying.
After his last encounter with England's team in the Caribbean, Harmison suffered the first serious wave of self-doubt since he stormed to No.1 in the world bowling charts five years ago.
He was an expedient scapegoat when they lost 1-0 to the West Indies. But his latest Test rejection inspired a period of introspection, which could yet prove a watershed in his career.
"At the start of the season, after we got home from the Caribbean, my head was all over the place and I was physically exhausted because I'd only had about five weeks off all winter.
"Probably for the first time in my career, I was questioning myself. I wondered if I was getting old, or if my legs had gone. Never mind being the best fast bowler to play against Australia, I wasn't even among the top three fast bowlers at Durham," Harmison said.
"Our coach, Geoff Cook, told me to have a couple of weeks off from bowling and his wise words worked a treat: I worked my socks off in the gym for a fortnight, came back fitter, and in our next three championship matches we blew away Hampshire, Lancashire and Durham."
Coach Andy Flower insists that England had never put Harmison out to pasture for good, saying last night: "I never drew a line under Steve's England career. He's still a very good fast bowler with a good record for England and he's always been in our minds." (ANI)