England news February 9, 2014

Harmison attacks ECB 'arrogance'

ESPNcricinfo staff

Steve Harmison, the former England seamer who retired at the end of last season, has added to the criticism directed at the ECB this week, both for its handling of the Kevin Pietersen situation and the impersonal manner in which he was rejected for the vacant selector's position.

Harmison, who 222 wickets in 62 Tests for England, revealed in his column for north-east regional newspaper the Sunday Sun that he had experienced the ECB's "arrogance" first hand, after applying to join the selection panel in place of Geoff Miller. England require at least one new selector, after Miller stepped down at the end of last year.

"Last month I answered an advert on the ECB's website to apply for a job as an England selector," Harmison wrote. "I didn't get it. That's fair enough, I didn't really expect to. But it would have been nice to have been told by something other than a bog-standard automated email.

"I'd like to think after playing more than 100 times for England in all forms of the game I'd at least get a personal reply, explaining why they came to their decision. But then, after everything that's happened with Kevin Pietersen this week, they obviously don't do explanations."

Harmison, a former team-mate of Pietersen's, has been one of the discarded batsman's most vocal supporters during a week in which debate about the end of his international career has raged on TV, radio and in newsprint - with Andrew Strauss the latest to voice an opinion.

"I know Kev, and everything he has said about wanting to stay on until 2015, to play in the next one-day international World Cup, to get 10,000 Test runs and complete the set of home-and-away Test hundreds in South Africa, tells me he's still hungry to play for England," Harmison said.

"KP is not unmanageable. No- one is. He will respond to a strong leader, as he did with Michael Vaughan."

Harmison also pushed for Vaughan, the 2005 Ashes-winning captain, to be considered as a candidate to succeed Andy Flower, who quit as team director last month, in the aftermath of England's 5-0 whitewashing in Australia. Like Harmison, Vaughan has been prominent in giving his backing to Pietersen, even calling for him to be made Alastair Cook's vice-captain.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Robert on February 10, 2014, 18:45 GMT

    There is no doubt that the ECB is a shambles, and run by a man who knows next to nothing about cricket. But Harmison's comments have the unmistakable smell of sour grapes. Pietersen should have been thrown out of the England side several years ago - then we'd maybe have been able to find a replacement. I don't say this because of any playing problems with Pietersen, but because he is a player I would never select for my own side; he will only ever play for 'KP's XI'. And his supporters act as if he's been killed stone dead - in fact, he now has enormous opportunities t play in T20 competitions around the world without any restrictions. he's probably got another 2 years at the top (he's a touch player, not a technician, and the touch goes first) - he's already a rich man, without calls from international boards he'll become very much richer over the next couple of years. Good luck to him - but please stop the whining about his 'death' as a cricketer - he's actually been given a second l

  • Dummy4 on February 10, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    Administrators are the same the world over. They are the mediocre who are fired by a burning ambition to be top dog and whose one talent is self-advancement. If the top executives including Mr Flower had the required man-management skills, this situation would never have arisen. Sadly enough, you find the real talent to manage English Cricket in the commentary box - Bumble, David Gower, Mike Atherton and Nasser Hussein are far more suited than the current lot of incompetents.

  • Cheryl on February 10, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    Interesting, a ton of opinions regarding one person from a range of former players and hardly a word from the same people on the massive restructure going on in cricket right now. Guess sometimes one person is bigger than the game...

  • front on February 10, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    As an England fan, its not just the ECB, but the coaching staff all the way down to fans. Hubris blinded us all to the short-comings in the team, short-comings, it seems (if you believe Harmisson) we're still not rectifying.

  • Dummy4 on February 10, 2014, 13:06 GMT

    Maybe the post involved international travel Harmison, we know your history with home sickness....

  • John on February 10, 2014, 8:37 GMT

    Geeez, what a surprise, another guy who was disruptive in the locker room coming to the aid of KP. Takes one to know one I guess.

  • Greg on February 10, 2014, 7:22 GMT

    If KP was so disruptive in Australia, why did he play in all 5 Tests? Why was no action taken there and then? Also if he was reintegrated into the squad and all forgiven, how can this past dirt be dug up and thrown in his face now?Surely with the Ashes lost, after the 3rd Test, KP could have been replaced and the rebuilding process begun.

    England is a democracy but does that extend to our cricket as well? Cricket and cricket fans demand and deserve an explanation.

  • Jo on February 10, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    May be ECB need expected a KP of Billion$ asset, poor KP managed to be only a Million$ asset.He produced a 10X return which ECB expected 1000x return ?????

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    @RJ_Kiwi Just as they seem to be doing with Finn you mean...

  • bill on February 9, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Couldn't agree more Nick. Mick Newell seems the obvious choice. Please please please not Ashley Giles. This new broom needs to sweep clean, not just put up an ECB Puppet whose opinion seems to change depending on what the ECB want. One day Giles claims KP a "Million Dollar" asset, the next he agrees with the ECBs sacking of this asset. He should go NOW along with Gooch, Saker etc and all the hangers on. Mick Newell would bring a fresh outlook and fresh ideas. As a coach, I would point out what he has achieved, Swann from county toiler to No1 spinner in the world, add to that, Pastel, Broad, Gurney, Hales, Taylor, Lumb, and more to come from his coaching/ man managent. Be bold ECB and do the right thing sooner rather than later!

  • No featured comments at the moment.