Harmison - My disappointment
Paceman says not playing in the first Test "hurts"
Last Updated: December 2, 2007 12:32pm
Harmison: risk factor
Steve Harmison believes the reason he missed out on playing in the first Test against Sri Lanka was the desire on the part of England selectors to err on the side of caution.
The Durham paceman has been playing club cricket in South Africa in an effort to find fitness following a back problem and headed to Kandy with high hopes of a Test recall.
However, he has had to take a back seat as the pace attack of Ryan Sidebottom, Matthew Hoggard and James Anderson has been preferred in tandem with spinner Monty Panesar.
Harmison admitted to the Mail on Sunday his disappointment in missing out and expressed the belief that he had done enough in practice to warrant a recall.
And he also claimed that, having spoken to captain Michael Vaughan following the decision, it was taken with a view to minimising risk in a Test vital to England's chances in the three-match series.
"I want to play, simple as that. I've not done what I've done here and in South Africa to get fit to carry the drinks for three Test matches," he said.
"It has been a disappointing week. I accept it might have been a risk to pick me but I must admit I honestly thought I had done enough in the nets to prove I was over the back injury and ready to play here.
"The way I bowled in practice in the two days before they selected the team. I believe I made it a difficult selection for them. I don't think I've been dropped because I didn't have the shirt at the end of the summer. Dropped is a strong word. But not playing hurts.
"I had a quiet word with Michael Vaughan after the side was picked and asked whether the decision had been made on ability or injury.
"There wasn't a straight answer but, reading between the lines, it was more about the risk factor."