England fast bowlers have short lives

LollopFollowing Andrew Flintoff’s Test retirement, Steve Harmison is now making rumblings about leaving the international game. He says his body couldn’t last the 18 months that would take him up to the next Ashes series. Steve Harmison is 30 years old.

Flintoff has been in hospital about once a fortnight for as long as we can remember, but Harmison’s always seemed one of the less injury-prone pacemen. Whatever your opinion on Harmison’s bowling, it’s worrying that this is all we’ll get out of him.

Of England’s other recent fast bowlers, Simon Jones appears to have played his last Test when he was 27 and Darren Gough’s retirement was overdue at 32. However injury-prone these guys have been, the odd break from cricket might have helped.

We don’t want Test cricket overrun with line and length medium-pacers. Batsmen have everything in their favour. They should at least be in real danger of having their teeth knocked out.

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7 Appeals

  1. Someone on another blog recently pointed out that if you take out Harmison’s annus mirabais (or whatever) when he took 245345 wickets against the might of the Windies and New Zealand, he actually averages over 40. He barely ever bowls well and is a terrible tourer.

    I’d like to see Tremlett given ago – although he has probably the worst injury record of any paceman in the country, so perhaps not.

  2. Too much domestic and international cricket!

    Rest – prepare – play

  3. Hmm; is Harmison really the best example of burnout? He sometimes gives the impression he’d get burnt out in the middle of fixing beans on toast, and settle for just toast. Like you say, he’s not noticeably injury-prone; is his fitness really the reason behind his mumblings of retirement, or is it more of a figleaf for the fact that he’s not an automatic selection any more, and wants to go out on his own terms?

    Someone on another blog recently pointed out that if you take out Harmison’s annus mirabais (or whatever) when he took 245345 wickets against the might of the Windies and New Zealand, he actually averages over 40.

    Not that I disagree with the broader point, but it’s 35 and a bit, excluding the two Windies and one New Zealand series in 2004. So, not great, but not as bad as all that. Broad’s only just brought his career average down to that level, and he’s a first choice bowler.

  4. It’s his head that’s been the problem, not his body.

  5. Judging by the photo above, it’s the incessant Quasimodo impressions that’ve taken it out of him.

  6. Hunching over like the Quas never did Devon any harm, SimonC.

    Speaking of line and length medium pacers, can Tim Murtagh have a go in the England squad soon please?

  7. The cricket authorities make money from international matches. The leaders of the cricket authorities have small brains – large bellies, but small brains. This leads to the following board meetings:

    “We make money from international matches.”

    “Money is the only way we can think of to measure our performance.”

    “Therefore, if we play MORE international matches, we make MORE money, and our performance is better.”

    QED

    Some new bloke in the corner then says in a Bernard Woolley voice that fast bowlers can’t actually play all these matches without breaking, owing to the physical demands. Everyone turns and stares at him. After an interminable silence, he says sorry and the meeting continues:

    “Right, so that’s settled then. Another seventy-two ODIs next year.”

    …and the feeding of fast bowlers into the crushing machine continues.

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