Durham crcket vets still have it

Paul Collingwood (left) and Steve Harmison
Paul Collingwood (left) and Steve Harmison

PACE ace Steve Harmison insists he isn’t “over the hill” as he prepares to help Durham’s assault on the County Championship, writes Ross Lough

The bowler has been hit by a succession of niggling injuries in the last two years which left many watchers wondering if he could still terrorise the country’s batsman.

But despite being 33, and in the twilight of an illustrious career, Harmison insists he still has a “big part to play”.

And he he says that the experience of players like himself, Dale Benkenstein, Paul Collingwood and Michael Di Venuto can help Durham’s youngsters reach the heights that the veteran quartet have already scaled.

Harmison said: “Hopefully if we have another successful season and we have a little bit of luck, and the weather does go our way, we’ll be fine, and we can retain what we believe is the Holy Grail for Durham – the County Championship.”

“There’s some kids who probably don’t realise how good they are, and it’s mine and Dale’s, Michael’s and Colly’s job, now he’s back, just to keep trying to help these young lads in the right direction because we’ve been there and done it.

“But I’m not over the hill just yet, and I’ve got a big, big part to play in what will be a massive year for Durham Cricket Club both on and off the field.

“Fair enough, I’ve won the Ashes a couple of times and I’ve won the championship a couple of times, but I’d like to think by the end of my career I’ll have maybe won the championship four or five times.,aybe been to another Twenty20 finals day where we’ve won it.

“And I need 60 wickets to break Simon Brown’s record, and an achievement like that is something that I strive for.”

Harmison hopes to be fit for Durham’s County Championship opener at home to Nottinghamshire on Thursday after an injury scare back in February.