Harmy - I'm ready for Sri Lanka
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Last Updated: November 16, 2007 3:00pm
Harmison: fitness quest
Steve Harmison is hopeful that his stint playing South African domestic cricket will convince the England selectors to take him to Sri Lanka.
"I think Ottis has been talking heavily with the people back in England and (now) we just have to wait and see on Saturday or Sunday what the decision will be on going to Sri Lanka."
Steve Harmison Quotes of the week
A place in England's squad has been left open for Harmison, but the selectors have demanded he prove his match fitness after an injury-plagued summer.
The Durham fast bowler has not played international cricket since undergoing a hernia operation in June and signed up for a two-game stint with the Highveld Lions in South Africa in order to convince the selectors.
He claimed nine wickets in the first of those matches under the watchful gaze of England bowling coach - and former Durham team-mate - Ottis Gibson.
Gibson will report back to the selectors before a decision is made this weekend on Harmison travelling to Sri Lanka.
"The last week everything has run smoothly - I didn't have the greatest first day in Paarl - but Ottis has been on my back everyday and getting me through the two weeks that we're here," Harmison told SuperSport in South Africa.
"I think Ottis has been talking heavily with the people back in England and (now) we just have to wait and see on Saturday or Sunday what the decision will be on going to Sri Lanka.
"It's not Ottis' decision, but he will talk to the selectors to see what happens."
Harmison admits the time spent in South Africa has been necessary in order to get his body back into a consistent bowling routine.
"I've not been at my best for the last 12 months, and haven't been fully fit for the majority of that time," he added.
"You can work out in the gym and run around as much as you want, but there is only one way to get fit and that is to bowl. To get Test fit, you've got to be at the top of your game.
"I really think there is enough time, there is another week out here and then a first-class game at the start of the Sri Lankan tour.
"Fingers crossed, I want to get that England shirt back on."
England begin their tour of Sri Lanka with two three-day warm-up games prior to the first Test in Kandy, which starts on December 1.