Harmison attacks ECB 'arrogance'
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.