Harmy - I'd bowl final over
Steve Harmison has said he would have no problem bowling the final over in England's Stanford Series showdown on Saturday.
Last Updated: 29/10/08 6:45pm
Steve Harmison has said he would have no problem bowling the final over in England's winner-takes-all Stanford Series showdown on Saturday.
The Durham paceman proved himself up to the task in Tuesday's warm-up match against Trindad & Tobago, with the latter's batsmen managing just eight runs off the last six balls.
And, despite usually bowling earlier in an innings, Harmison reckons that, come this weekend's high stakes, he will be able to perform a similar task.
"I have played cricket for 10-12 years and there have not been many times in one-day cricket that I have bowled the last over," Harmison said. "Maybe 10 times. So that was good to do.
"It's not normally my job but if it comes down to it, in Twenty20 (you) have to be flexible to carry out whatever is put in front of you.
"If it was the same situation, I would gladly do it, and exactly the way I did last night with the opposition one run short."
With the small matter of US$1 million a man at stake, nerves might be jangling in the weekend's floodlit encounter against the Stanford Superstars.
But Harmison said he was confident that financial rewards will be pushed firmly to the back of his mind when he pulls on his England shirt.
He continued: "It is a game of cricket, so when you cross that white line you play for each other, you're in it together and you want to win the game.
"The rewards are after you have won or lost but what you are playing for is not really in the equation.
"Would I be able to bowl the same over as the other night? I would like to think I could because you are trying to win.
"I am human so it would enter a small part of the mind but once you are about to bowl you are focused on one thing - where you want to put it."
After last night's victory, Kevin Pietersen expressed similar sentiments but also re-iterated his discomfort with the timing of the event.
However, England's captain also stressed how the ECB and the grass-roots game will benefit from the bonanza.
He said: "Nobody has really discussed the money because we haven't got it. The money is not in our hands.
"Of course, it is an incentive, it's a life-changing sum.
"We are here for the money because the simple fact of the matter is we are playing for US$20 million.
"We are not here for the Ashes, we are not here for the World Cup, the prize on Saturday is nothing if you lose but if you win - US$1 million.
"You win a tournament on the PGA golf tour and the prize money is a big purse.
"It is good for the game - both boards are benefiting and the players who win are benefiting - in the long term.
"At this minute, the way the market is in England it is a good thing for the game but just at the wrong time because if what is happening in the world.
"Hopefully the money in two or three years' time will have filtered through to the right sources - stadiums will be better, youth cricket will be better, everything will be better."
Nevertheless, the actions of Harmison for one reveal an insight into players' doubts coming into the tournament.
He initially intended to come out of one-day retirement on November 2, so no-one could accuse him of chasing dollars.
However, he was subsequently talked around by the management to make himself available from August onwards.