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Page last updated at 11:01 GMT, Thursday, 8 October 2009 12:01 UK

England omit Harmison for SA tour

Steve Harmison
Harmison's international career looks to be at an end

England's selectors signalled the probable end of Steve Harmison's international career by leaving him out of the Test squad to tour South Africa.

His Durham team-mate Liam Plunkett was given a call-up, along with Steve Davies, Adil Rashid and Luke Wright.

Jonathan Trott, who hit a century on Test debut in the Ashes decider, was added to the one-day squad.

Ravi Bopara and Owais Shah were in neither squad, with Sajid Mahmood returning to the shorter format.

Kevin Pietersen was making "good progress" with his recovery from surgery on his injured Achilles, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.

He is due to join up with the rest of the squad in South Africa following the first two Twenty20 Internationals and his fitness will be reassessed ahead of the one-day series.

Harmison said in September he would consider announcing his formal retirement from international cricket if England did not give him assurances he would be more than a "bit-part" player.

Door not closed for Harmison - Miller

The 30-year-old played in the last two Ashes Tests with limited success, having been overlooked for the early part of the summer.

And, along with one-time number one spinner Monty Panesar, he was not given a central contract a month later - the first clue that his England career was approaching an end.

National selector Geoff Miller said: "His performances, certainly over the last two or three tours, have not mirrored what he was capable of doing.

"We had to keep an eye not only on the present day but on the future as he stated he did not want to tour Australia in 2010-11, so consequently, and unfortunately for Steve, he's not been selected.

"I understand what he's saying, that there's no point in him going out there as an experienced player and just walking around carrying drinks.

"But he has to fight for his place just like everyone else, and perform and get into the side on quality and ability, and we just can't guarantee that he's going to be a player out there."

Harmison's Durham team-mate Graham Onions said he believed his colleague still had a future at Test level.

Jonathan Trott
Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott is in both the Test and one-day squads

"If he wants to play for England again he will continue to take wickets for Durham and force his way back into that side," Onions said.

"You don't play 60-odd Tests and take over 200 wickets without being a world-class performer."

The one-day squad arrives in South Africa on 1 November, and the tourists kick off with two Twenty20 internationals in which Paul Collingwood will lead the side. The first Test of four starts on 16 December.

Miller said Davies had been picked as back-up wicketkeeper because he had been "a consistent performer for his county".

He added: "The retirement of Andrew Flintoff has created a vacancy for an all-rounder, and we are excited by the way in which Luke Wright's all-round game continues to develop.

"Liam Plunkett has worked hard to improve all aspects of his game since he last played for England and his selection is reward for consistently putting in strong performances for Durham both with bat and ball.

"Sajid Mahmood is another player who has had a taste of international cricket and will be equally keen to make an impression after continuing to show good form with Lancashire."

606: DEBATE
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Neither Plunkett nor Mahmood has played for England since the summer of 2007.

Alastair Cook's form for Essex, Miller added, had been a key factor in him being promoted to the one-day squad.

England's 2-1 Test series win in South Africa under Michael Vaughan in 2004-05, their first in that country for 40 years, was the prelude for their Ashes success the following summer.

But Andrew Strauss and James Anderson are the only survivors from the side which played in the Test series five years ago.

South Africa won the corresponding series in England in the summer of 2008, in which Vaughan tearfully resigned the captaincy.


Test squad: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex - captain), Alastair Cook (Essex - vice captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Steven Davies (Surrey), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).

One-day squad: Andrew Strauss (Middlesex - captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Joe Denly (Kent), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matt Prior (Sussex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).



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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
08 Oct 09 |  England
Recalled Plunkett eyes Test spot
08 Oct 09 |  England
Forgotten Monty
08 Oct 09 |  England
Denly's time will come - Farbrace
08 Oct 09 |  Kent
England hopeful over Collingwood
06 Oct 09 |  England
Harmison seeks England assurance
20 Sep 09 |  England
Harmison & Panesar lose contracts
11 Sep 09 |  England
Pietersen hit by injury setback
11 Aug 09 |  England
England claim historic series win
25 Jan 05 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England


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