Harmy ready to celebrate
Steve Harmison revealed that he will celebrate Durham's second successive Division One title more than his Ashes success.
Last Updated: 12/09/09 8:32pm
Pace bowler Steve Harmison revealed that he will celebrate Durham's second consecutive LV County Championship Division One title more than his Ashes success earlier this summer.
The 30-year-old sealed back-to-back titles for the north-east county when he bowled Nottinghamshire all-rounder Mark Ealham to wrap-up an emphatic innings-and-52-run victory over their closest rivals.
It has been quite a summer for Harmison, Durham's triumph coming less than a month after he featured in the England team that regained the Ashes against Australia at The Oval.
Despite the significance of that victory, Harmison revealed that he is likely to enjoy Durham's success more after playing in 11 of their 14 Championship matches so far this season.
"Someone mentioned the Ashes and stuff like that. This doesn't mean more to me than the Ashes wins but I'll probably celebrate this more than I would do for the Ashes because the simple fact is I've played a lot more cricket this year for Durham than I have for England," said Harmison, who only played in the final two Ashes Tests.
Harmison's Test future remains in doubt after the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Friday that he will not have his central contract renewed.
He said: "England is for another day, I'm going to enjoy this day with Durham and the England questions will come at a later date.
"These next 24 hours are going to be a good celebration. I'm pleased I'm not involved in the Pro40 anymore because tomorrow could be a test for a few people."
Durham had begun their home clash with second-placed Nottinghamshire needing just 11 points to tie up the Championship.
In the end their victory was emphatic, Notts batting twice and still falling 52 runs short of Durham's record 648-5 first-innings total.
Liam Plunkett was the pick of the bowlers, claiming nine wickets in the match, and, after also claiming the title-clinching wicket last season, Harmison admitted he would have preferred his former England team-mate to have wrapped up proceedings in front of a packed Riverside crowd.
"To get the last wicket was something special. To get the final wicket two years in a row is something I'm proud of," said Harmison.
"The support we have had here today means a hell of a lot to all the players and we thank the supporters for that.
"I would rather Liam have got it (the final wicket) because 10 wickets in a match is a special achievement and he bowled fantastically well in the first innings.
"I think all the luck I've had throughout the summer disappeared in the first innings but I'm happy with the way things have gone and it's a great achievement for Durham as a county and as a group of players.
"I'm especially pleased for Will Smith, captain at 25 years old in a team full of international players."