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Harmison's wide of the mark
Around the Academy:

England paceman Steve Harmison looks forlorn as umpire David Shepherd signals a wide
Come on Steve, we want wickets, not wides!
"Where the stars show you how" goes the Academy motto, but don't follow it literally.

Just look at England paceman Steve Harmison, a perfect example for all you wannabe fast bowlers.

Except not right now.

Keen to send a few shivers down the spines of the Australian top order, the Durham speedster started his Ashes tour in the worst possible fashion.

Playing in England's first match against the ACB Chairman's XI's in Perth, the 23-year-old couldn't quite get his radar working properly.

In fact, he must have left it back in his home city of Newcastle after bowling seven straight wides in one particularly unmemorable 14-ball over.

Harmison sent down nine more wides to take his unenviable total to 16 from just seven overs, costing him 42 runs.

How many is that ump? "Errrr, lost count..."

And to make things worse, he had a big, fat zero in the wickets column. Not the best day at the office for our Steve.

But the England young gun can rest assured.

Not only does he have the pace and raw talent to unnerve those Aussies, he's not the first - and certainly will not be the last - to bowl an instantly forgettable over.

Former Leicestershire bowler Scott Boswell is one bowler who can empathise with Harmison's woes.

He went one better - or worse as was the case - in the C & G Trophy final against Somerset at a packed Lord's last year.

Playing the biggest game of his professional career, the 28-year-old managed to bowl EIGHT wides in his second over.

Needless to say, Leicestershire captain Vince Wells immediately hauled the confidence-shy Boswell off and carted him down to third man.

It got even worse for Boswell a month later - Leicestershire decided to release him from his contract.

At least Steve can redeem himself Down Under, preferably starting with six wickets in his first over in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane on 7 November.

Steve Harmison factfile
Date of birth: 23 October, 1978
Place of birth: Ashington, Northumberland
Age: 23
Teams: Durham, England
First class debut: 1996
Test debut: India, Trent Bridge, 2nd Test, 2002
First Test wicket: Agit Agarkar

Did you know?
Steve was a useful footballer and played semi-professionally as a central defender with Ashington in the Northern League

Other nightmare overs
Former Glamorgan bowler Malcolm Nash had 36 runs taken off one over by West Indian legend Sir Gary Sobers in 1968
Former Indian all-rounder Ravi Shastri also took 36 runs off luckless Tilak Raj in one over in 1985

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