Harmison says Freddie told him not to think of retirement

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London, Aug. 26 (ANI): England fast bowler Steve Harmison has revealed that Freddie Flintoff begged him not to rush into Test retirement, saying: "Don't make any hasty decisions."

Flintoff's glorious exit from the big stage after England's Ashes triumph means the darts league both pals ran on tour will never be the same again.

Harmison, who bullied the Aussie tailenders into submission expertly at The Oval with his fastest Test spell for three years, was tempted to follow his great mate into the sunset.

But after Flintoff's plea for him to carry on, Harmy will discuss his career prospects with skipper Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower before deciding either way.

If public adulation is any guide, they should ask Harmy to pack his portable oche, turn his hotel room into Circus Tavern central in South Africa this winter and extend his Test career until he joins Sir Ian Botham, Bob Willis and Fred Trueman as the Englishmen to take 300 Test wickets.

Harmison said last night: "I love playing for England - that's the top and bottom of it - and a large part of me never wants to retire but over the next few weeks I need to take stock and look at the bigger picture.

"One of the last things Andrew (Flintoff) said to me was, 'Don't make any hasty decisions - I only retired from Test cricket because a knee made the decision for me.'

"I do feel I've got another year or two left in the tank, so I'm not going to rush into anything. You're a long time retired, and I need to sit down with the captain and coach to find out where I stand. If they want to take the team in a different direction, fair enough. The last thing I want to do is to cling on to an England shirt and block the progress of younger lads who need the experience," The Mirror quoted Harmison, as saying.

"And if winning the Ashes at The Oval turns out to be my last Test, what a great way to finish. I've played in four Ashes series, been part of a winning team in two of them and I've got 226 Test wickets, so I'm not complaining," he said. (ANI)

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