Harmy - Money not a factor
England bowler Steve Harmison has denied claims that money was the main reason behind his return to one-day internationals.
Last Updated: 29/08/08 9:41am
Steve Harmison has denied his return to England's one-day team is financially motivated.
The Durham fast bowler reversed his decision to retire from the international limited-overs fold at the start of the NatWest Series against South Africa.
He marked his comeback by taking two wickets at Headingley in the series-opener, and followed up with another couple of scalps in the hosts' 10-wicket win at Trent Bridge.
With England due to participate in the lucrative Stanford Series in October, some cynics have suggested Harmison's U-turn is all about money.
"Everyone is talking about it saying he has come back for the money, but I have come back for cricketing reasons," Harmison told Sky Sports News.
"It feels like I've been criticised for everything, even for changing my socks. I've come back for cricketing reasons only.
"It was an interesting three or four days leading up to the series. I never thought I'd be anywhere near the games. I thought I'd be in Basingstoke.
"They asked me where I was going to be in the winter and then I got a phone call saying Ryan Sidebottom was injured and they needed somebody, so I said why not? I'd never let them down.
"It's not up to me if I play in the Stanford series. I made my feelings clear to the coach and captain."
Harmison original decision to retire from ODIs in 2006 was attributed to family reasons and the 29-year-old revealed he had consulted them before deciding to make himself available once again.
"I only agreed to come back after speaking to my wife and children. They were the first people I spoke to," he added.
"Things have got a bit more stable with the family issues now. There probably have been 10, 12 or 15 players that have been in the same boat and they haven't been as honest as I have been about it."
Harmison also gave his backing to Kevin Pietersen, who has not lost a match since being permanently appointed as England skipper.
"He (Pietersen) seems to have the Midas touch and long may that continue," enthused Harmison.
"There has been changes but it's not too different. I've been around the England side for the last six or seven years now and it's nice to be back in the team.
"I'm glad to see Freddy (Andrew Flintoff) back as well. We can build the team around him. He can bat at five and bowl 90mph.
"The performance last week was obviously comprehensive from our point of view and disappointing from theirs but they are going to come back at us."
England can seal the five-match series with victory at the Oval on Friday.