Thursday 21 August 2008 

Harmison Returns To Bolster England ODI Squad

Steve Harmison has come out of One Day International retirement to join up with England's squad for opening ODI against South Africa at Headingley.

Steve Harmison
Back from retirement: Steve Harmison
© Action Images / Paul Childs Livepic

Ryan Sidebottom has been ruled out of the match through injury and Harmison, who made a successful return to the Test side at The Brit Oval earlier this year, could be in line for his first One Day appearance since the Champions Trophy of 2006.

"After recently being asked by the England management to reassess my retirement from international One-Day cricket I’ve decided to join England’s ODI squad for the NatWest Series after careful consideration," Harmison said.

"It’s something I have been thinking about for a period of time and due to recent injuries in the England camp the opportunity has arisen for me to play a role in this series.

"I decided to retire from England’s ODI team for a number reasons, one being the amount of time I was spending away from my family. Now that my family is settled and my bowling is settled I feel I have something to offer England’s ODI side and am looking forward to playing a part in the NatWest Series against South Africa.

"Having missed out on selection at various times this year I am well aware of the disappointment that comes from not being a part of the England dressing room. With that in mind I want to be a part of the team and if that means bringing myself out of retirement to play a role in this upcoming NatWest Series then I’m happy to do just that."

"At the moment my focus is on doing well in the ODIs against South Africa and I’m not looking beyond that at this stage."

Sidebottom has not fully recovered from groin and hip injuries that have troubled him throughout the summer and although England have Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan in the squad, Harmison's extra experience has been called on.

© Cricket World 2008