Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Harmi: patience required

Imagine the scene: The Gabba, 25 November 2010. Australia versus England, sold right out. Ponting wins the toss. That gorgeous, almost tangible hush descends as the clock ticks towards 11. Andrew Strauss takes a look at the new Kookaburra nut and tosses it to... er, Steve Harmison.

Well one man can see it happening, and that man is... well it's Steve Harmison actually. Harmi remains that same enigmatic bundle of promise and disappointment that he always is, every glorious spell where his body hums and the batsman has that unmistakable feeling of heightened reality as the ball flies at him faster than he thinks possible counterpointed by the memory of the hangdog face and the dropping pace, and, hovering above it all, that first ball at Brisbane last time.

In Brian Viner's excellent interview, Harmi fights his corner admirably ['I've been number one in the world, I've won the Ashes twice'] and he reveals too the sportsman's classic blindspot: himself:

'I'm really pleased for Steven Finn... He'll make mistakes but I hope people are more patient with him than they were with me'.

Ah, Harmi, if only...

1 comment:

Mark said...

Do you think he actually believes all that nonsense, or is just following some sort of masterplan designed by his PR agency?

MPV went through the same process just before he retired - 'I was the best in the world in 2002/03, and can get back to that level'...

Maybe it's a generational thing - I don't remember the heroes of my youth - Knott, Underwood, Woolmer - raging against the dying of the light like that.