Saturday, October 31, 2009

New Durham deal for Harmison

Steve Harmison will remain with Durham until 2013 after signing a new four-year deal with the county.

The 31-year-old, left out of England's squad for this winter's tour to South Africa despite playing in the final two Tests of the Ashes series, has helped Durham win back-to-back Division One titles in the LV County Championship.

He has taken over 400 first-class wickets in his career, claiming the scalps that clinched four-day silverware in both 2008 and 2009.

Harmison is now targeting a hat-trick of wins with the defending champions after committing his long-term future to the Riverside.


"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," he said on the county's website.

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

Head coach Geoff Cook described Harmison as a "huge asset" to Durham, who are likely to see plenty of him in the future with his international career seemingly over.

The right-arm paceman has appeared in 63 Tests for England, claiming 226 wickets at an average of 31.82.

However, he has been in and out of the side in recent years and his absence from the party to face the Proteas suggests the selectors have decided to move on without a bowler that at one stage topped the ICC rankings.

"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 has always been fantastic," Cook added.

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