Steve Harmison Column

The England squad for the Champions Trophy has been confirmed now, and for me I don’t see any complaints from anyone about not being included.

There are a few people who will be disappointed, about not being in – but fortunately for England but unfortunately for them individuals we have got to pick a 15 man squad, and we have a big pool of players and when you have that many good players – people will miss out, players who have been doing well – but for me the balance of the squad looks very good and they have a lot of bases covered. It is a good squad for England to push themselves and challenge themselves to go and win a world tournament.

You could say Ben Duckett and Steve Finn are unlucky, but you have to see who they are up against – the lads in the squad have performed well – in an ideal world we could maybe take 18 to 20 and they would be in, but we don’t so the select have to make a choice and in terms of Finn they have gone for Wood – who for me has that x-factor, and they have gone for tried and tested in terms of batsmen, who have done well for them – following the debacle of the World Cup in Australia – so unfortunately Duckett missed out too.

England are one of the favourites, and they are at home so they should be – they have got to the final last two times in England, although they have lost – with a bit more luck they can go one better.


I have been working a lot on the Indian Premier League, I have commentated on a number of games now and it has been great to be involved from a media point of view and it has been great so far.

And for me the best thing for me was Jos Buttler’s innings of 77 from 37 balls for the Mumbai Indias against the King’s was brilliant, it was the highlight for me.

I think Chris Woakes has been the pick of the English players, and from an English point of view it has been really good for a few of them. The ones that have played have held themselves well.

Worrying for England might be that Eoin Morgan hasn’t really played like with Chris Jordan – but that depends on which franchise take you – Tymal Mills has struggled to get some time, but that is not based on performance – that is just down to the squad he is in. But Woakes, Stokes and Buttler have all contributed really well and that is something we can be very happy with.

As I have said, even those who haven’t played the cricketing education is invaluable.


We also heard the decision of Zafar Ansari to walk away from cricket in the last week at the age of 25.

It caught people by surprise, but sportsmen are not robots – whether they play at the top level or grassroots level, they need to make the right decision and he knows what he wants, people say this is a brave decision but it isn’t it is the right decision for Zafar Isari.

People say this is a brave decision but it isn’t it is the right decision for Zafar Isari

He knows what he wants to do, he has probably come to a cross-roads with the game of cricket and he has tried his best. He is where he wants to be with Surrey and tried his best to get in the England side and carried himself very well – everything that cricket had to offer, he could have had another ten-years or so, with England or just county cricket but he has decided that there is something else out there for him – so fair play to him, it is the right decision for him.

I know more than anyone else, I pulled out of tours earlier in my career because of things that were going on in my life, in my early 20s, but I never once thought this is going to hamper me for the rest of my career or that this is a brave decision, it was the right decision for me – I think this is great, fair play to him – it shows the kid has character and it shows he has a clear plan and drive and determination to get the best out of his life and he thinks that is away from cricket then good luck to him.

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