London, Oct. 9 (ANI): Steve Harmison's dumping from England's South African tour has renewed the row over his announcement last month that he would retire from international cricket if he was not selected for the tour.
Last month, the fast bowler had warned that he did not want to wind down his England career as a "bit-part player" and spend 10 weeks on the Cape as a senior water carrier.
Following that statement, the selectors refused to guarantee him a place in the side, claiming he had talked himself out of the squad.
"Although that didn't go completely against him, it was part of our discussion," The Mirror quoted national selector Geoff Miller, as saying.
"I understand what Steve is saying, that there's no point in an experienced player just walking around carrying the drinks. But we can't give guarantees to anyone. He has to fight for his place like anyone else, perform and get into the side on quality and ability," he added.
Although Harmison is the last man to have claimed 10 wickets in an innings, he is maintaining a diplomatic silence about his future.
But his agent Neil Fairbrother said: "Steve is bitterly disappointed to be left out. Over the past few days he has had discussions with the England coach, Andy Flower, and assured him he was prepared to fight for his place with everyone else.
"Harmy was good enough to be a part of the England team who clinched the Ashes on August 23. What has changed since then?"
Unfortunately, England selectors do not think so.
"Steve's performances over the past two or three tours have not mirrored what he is capable of. We have to keep an eye on the future as he stated he didn't want to tour Australia in 2010-11," Miller said.
He however, added: "We'll continue to consider him until he decides he doesn't want to play international cricket." (ANI)