Harmison on the defensive

Durham bowler ready to do his talking on the pitch

Last Updated: 14/04/08 2:51pm

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Harmison: Under fire

Harmison: Under fire

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Steve Harmison has defended himself against criticism over his recent performances for England and set a target to return to the Test team this summer.

The Durham pace bowler is preparing for the new County Championship season, in which he hopes to recapture the form which once saw him top the world Test rankings.

Harmison was dropped from the England team after a lacklustre display with the ball in the opening Test in New Zealand.

He was widely criticised for his bowling and attitude, but he says the only way to answer his critics is back out on the pitch.

"It's difficult at the moment because people can give you stick but at this moment in time there's no cricket to play," he told Sky Sports News.

One answer

"There's only one way that I can answer that and it's by performing and at the moment we're not performing.

"So people are having a field day sticking their 50p's worth in. But that's life, it doesn't bother me. I'm having my turn now and I'm the one that can deal with it.

"Hopefully in three or four months' time the stick will have died down and I'll be back in the England team and things will be going well for me, both for England and for Durham.

"I laugh at some of it, especially when ex-players are doing it because the ex-players are the ones that should know better, but we have a culture in England that we do kick people when they're down.

"There's a couple of north east sportsmen who've had a horrendous time, with people kicking them when they're down, Michael Owen and Jonny Wilkinson.

"Seeing them come back, seeing them perform just spurs you on to say 'you can keep knocking me but I'll have my chance'."

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