The lollop, the leap and physics-defying bounce

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Say what you like about Steve Harmison’s overall record, but he could lollop in and hit you on the elbow with the best of them. That uncanny ability to make the ball bounce considerably more than should have been physically possible brought him a bunch of wickets and England a bunch of wins, but far more importantly, it brought hope.

Fast bowlers are few and far between. English ones are rarer still. For a time, Steve Harmison was just such a thing and it was wondrous. Context is everything and that’s one of the main reasons why we named him our latest King of Cricket over at All Out Cricket. You can read all about him by clicking these words.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


Why risk it when it's so easy to sign up?


  1. For all his pace, that slower ball he bowled to get Clarke on the 3rd evening at Edgbaston in 2005 is one of the all-time great cricket moments.

  2. Have you seen Harmy these days? He’s put on a fair bit of timber. Also his TV presenting style is very wooden. Timber. Wooden. Construct your own joke. I didn’t get much sleep last night.

    1. Steve Harmison has put on so much timber, that is to say, fat, that his presenting style has become what one might call wooden, timber being another word for wood as well as, in this context, fat.

  3. Excellent piece, KC.

    I was lucky enough to be at Trent Bridge for the first two days of Harmy’s debut test, so I witnessed the very start of that test career and all the “fan hope” that went with it.

  4. And now we’re back to right-arm fast-medium. Can anyone remind me how fast Liam Plunkett is bowling these days? For a short while he seemed to be England’s hope for breaking out of that.

    1. FFA = Four Fox Ache? (say it out loud, not too loud though)

      I believe that ‘Four Fox Ache’ is also what the Upper Classes used to get after a long weekend’s riding/hunting.

  5. No matter how bad it got, Harmy never was reduced to Finn’s drunken man running at a lamp post efforts.

    1. Hmmm, the issue surely is not “how bad it gets” when a pace bowler goes through the doldrums, but “how good it gets” when that bowler recovers.

      Several top notch bowlers have been there.

      We conveniently forget how dark Jimmy Anderson’s dog days were, because he came back an even better bowler and is unquestionably now one of the best in the world and one of the very finest England have ever produced.

      Mitch Johnson, though still sporadic and absence-prone, is an international match winner again when he turns up.

      For Steve Finn, the signs of recovery are good. I especially like the fact that, after match winning spells, he still insists that he is not yet back to his best. We’ll have to see how that story pans out over the next couple of years.

      Steve Harmison, sadly, never really recovered from “that wide” in Brisbane 2006. He remained a whole-hearted lad but his international mojo never really came back. KC is right to focus on Harmy as a symbol and vital component of England’s hope/success between 2002 and 2005, not all that much beyond.

    2. His pace never came back either. Late-model Harmison always seemed a bit too fast-medium.

      I enjoyed that brief period of time when Craig White was pretty fast. Until it broke him.

  6. What good has come of social media and sportsmen??

    The other day on tv harmison got confused saying shot and hit. Hillarity ensued in my household.

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