Flintoff - Harmy must tour
Andrew Flintoff has called for close friend Steve Harmison to be picked for England's winter Test series in South Africa.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 29/09/09 8:53am
Andrew Flintoff has called for Durham seamer Steve Harmison to be picked for England's winter Test series in South Africa.
The national selectors have delayed naming their touring party until the conclusion of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy.
Should Harmison's name be missing from the squad, it is likely the 30-year-old will call time on his seven-year Test career.
And Flintoff, who has already retired from Test cricket, has urged the selectors to keep faith with his close friend.
"Of course he should (tour)," said Flintoff. "We had the biggest game of the summer in the Ashes at The Oval and he was playing.
"I'd have him in my side. Well I did do, didn't I? I'd have him in every day."
Further surgery on Flintoff's damaged right knee scuppered the all-rounder's hopes of playing in the current Champions Trophy competition in South Africa.
Undeterred by the 31-year-old's absence, England have already booked their place in the semi-finals with impressive victories over Sri Lanka and the host nation.
And Flintoff sees no reason why England will not go on and win the competition.
"We have seen with England in the past that when we have underperformed we are very good at coming back," he said.
"With the one-day stuff we have struggled with consistency. We can beat anyone. We've won series but not strung a run of series together.
"Whatever it takes to be consistent we have just not found it. Hopefully the Champions Trophy is the start of that."
Flintoff also believes England have unearthed a new one-day star in left-hander Eoin Morgan, who has scored 129 runs in the competition so far.
Flintoff said: "Look at left-handers who play one-day cricket and finish games. England had Graham Thorpe and Neil Fairbrother.
"The Aussies had Michael Bevan and Mike Hussey. If Morgan could fill that void for England it would be a great asset.
"He's started well, hit a few sixes. He plays left-handed but plays the odd right-handed shot and flicks them over the wicketkeeper. He's an exciting prospect."