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Page last updated at 13:02 GMT, Tuesday, 9 September 2008 14:02 UK

Harmison gets $1m Stanford chance

Steve Harmison celebrates a wicket with his England team-mates
Harmison only recently came out of one-day international retirement

Durham fast bowler Steve Harmison has been included in England's 15-man squad for the $20m (11.5m) Stanford Super Series in the Caribbean.

Harmison, 29, came out of one-day international retirement for the recent win over South Africa, while Matt Prior and Samit Patel retain their places.

England play a Twenty20 game against the Stanford Superstars on 1 November with $1m per winning player available.

The same squad will contest the one-day series in India this winter.

Winning players will earn $1m each from the Stanford Twenty20 game in Antigua, with another $1m split between the rest of the squad, and the ECB guaranteed $3.5m.

The deal with Stanford is for five years, with a $20m match being held annually in November. The upcoming match is to be played at his own Stanford Cricket Ground in St John's, Antigua.

Decisions nothing to do with money - Miller

Harmison, who returned to the one-day international arena having previously retired after the 2006-07 Ashes series, has been forced to reject claims that his comeback was financially motivated.

And Geoff Miller, the England and Wales Cricket Board's national selector, told BBC Radio 5 Live: "I can understand that but the request was made to Steve to come in and it's not for a financial point of view.

"He made it clear that if people felt that he'd rather not be in it. But we want him to be in it and his results this year in both kinds of cricket show it's the right decision."

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
Harmison's England colleague Graeme Swann, also named in the squad, also defended the paceman.

"It's harsh on Harmy and people should get off his back," he told 5 Live. "He was talked back into the side and the England team is stronger with him in it."

Lancashire all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, a veteran of 129 international ODIs, believes England are close to ending their wait to secure a first major one-day international trophy.

"We've got all bases covered and when you've got Luke Wright coming in to bat at number eight that's a strong line-up," he said.

"Everything is there but it's been there in the past so it's more about a mindset or a confidence thing, which I'm sure this side will get from Kevin.

"One of the big things he has passed on to the side so far is confidence. He's a confident lad and I think that's started to rub off on to quite a few of the players.

"When you see the way he goes about his business, especially towards his own game, and no matter how good a player you are you can still watch and learn from that."

The Stanford selectors, led by cricket legend Sir Viv Richards, have named a 17-man squad for the game which includes Chris Gayle, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Shiv Chanderpaul.

As part of the Super Series, England will take on domestic cricket's Twenty20 Cup winners Middlesex on 26 October, and Caribbean Twenty20 champions Trinidad and Tobago two days later, before the lucrative 1 November showdown with the Stanford Superstars.

England's 15-man one-day squad for Stanford Super Series and India ODI series: Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire) capt, James Anderson (Lancashire) Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire) Stephen Harmison (Durham), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Matt Prior (Sussex) Owais Shah (Middlesex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).

Stanford Super Series schedule:

25 October: Stanford Superstars v Trinidad and Tobago
26 October: England v Middlesex
27 October: Trinidad and Tobago v Middlesex
28 October: England v Trinidad and Tobago
30 October: Stanford Superstars v Middlesex
1 November: Stanford Superstars v England

see also
Vaughan handed England contract
09 Sep 08 |  England
Twenty20 winners to face England
25 Jul 08 |  Cricket
Stanford plans global expansion
12 Jun 08 |  Cricket
England bag 50m Twenty20 bonanza
11 Jun 08 |  Cricket

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