Flintoff says Harmison should be included in Ashes squad

June 18th, 2009 - 5:39 pm ICT by ANI  

Lancashire (UK), June 18 (ANI): All-rounder Andrew Flintoff believes that the selectors will be making a big mistake if they do not include fast bowler Steve Harmison in the Ashes squad.

Harmison has taken 15 wickets for 132 runs in his last two county championship matches for Durham, and Flintoff said: “He was close to unplayable.”

Harmison stormed up the Test bowling charts to No.1 in 2004, but has been downgraded to common assault since his widest-of-wides at Brisbane in November 2006 became a horrible prologue to England’s 5-0 whitewash in Oz.

Since then, he has been treated like Graeme Hick, Mark Ramprakash and John Crawley, the great unfulfilled batting hopes of the 1990s - dropped then recalled, written off then reborn.

Many thought Harmy’s England days were over when new coach Andy Flower swept into office and discarded the old guard led by Michael Vaughan.

But those inclined to write Harmison’s obituary as a Test bowler had better not dip their quills in the ink just yet - because Flintoff says he is back to his destructive old ways.

Flintoff’s testament to Harmison’s enduring pace and bounce should make it a long evening around the selectors’ table this weekend when they pick a 17-man squad for Cardiff, which will be pared down to 12 by national selector Geoff Miller on July 4.

He said: “It’s not my job to pick the Ashes squad, but when we faced him at Durham last week he was close to unplayable.

“Good pace, steep bounce, control, stamina, swinging the ball away from the right-hander - you name it, he did it. He was awesome, back to his very best, the Harmy of four or five years ago,” The Mirror quoted Flintoff, as saying.(ANI)

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