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Harmy sets sights on return

Durham paceman determined to win back Test place

Harmison: England plea

Recalled pace bowler Steve Harmison has urged the national selectors to hand him an "England encore" before the end of the current Ashes series.

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"I'll fight back every time I get knocked down because I'm not finished with international cricket yet."

Steve Harmison

Quotes of the week

The Durham seamer was overlooked for the first Test in Cardiff, but has since been handed a lifeline following eye-catching displays for his county and injury concerns surrounding Andrew Flintoff.

And Harmison, who has taken 221 wickets in 61 Tests, now hopes he will be given the opportunity to replicate the form which took him to the top of the world bowling rankings in 2004.

"If not this week, I really hope there is an England encore for me somewhere down the line this summer," Harmison told the Daily Mirror.

"I've taken a five-for at Edgbaston and five at Headingley, both on flat decks, in recent weeks, and everyone knows what I can do at The Oval."

Passion

Harmison, 30, has not featured for England at all this summer after failing to impress during England's humiliating Test series defeat in the West Indies.

Eager to respond, the Durham quick has taken 42 wickets in nine first-class matches this season- form which suggests he is back on top of his game.

"I'll fight back every time I get knocked down because I'm not finished with international cricket yet," he added.

"What they say is true - you're always a better player when you're injured, retired or left out, but I'm basically the same bowler with the same passion about playing for my country.

"The one thing that really rankles is when people question my desire to play for England, but I've always fought back when I've been left out three times in the last three years - and I'll do it again if I have to.

"Every time I get knocked down, I'll fight hard to win my place back for the simple reason that I love playing for England, and I love earning the right to put on an England cap by playing for Durham.

"Even if I don't play in this match, I'll be like a boomerang - I'll keep coming back."