Steve Harmison, a member of England’s victorious 2005 and 2009 Ashes-winning sides, has announced his retirement with immediate effect.
Writing in the Sunday Sun, Harmison confirmed he would not be renewing his contract with Durham and would be bowing out from all forms of cricket.
Steve Harmison retired. 7/12 in WI and slower ball v Clarke deserve a few YouTube hits today. Fragile soul at times, but what a fine career.— Jon Colman (@joncolman) October 6, 2013
Durham won the Division One County Championship last month, but Harmison was a frustrated spectator on account of injuries.
And with his body unable to stand up to the rigours of full-time competition, the 34-year-old has elected to hang up his boots.
Writing in the Sunday Sun, Harmison stated:
Today I am announcing my retirement from professional cricket.
I was hoping to go out on a high in my benefit year but my body has not allowed me to, and I have not made a single first-team appearance.
With my contract up at the end of the season, I have known for a while I would be calling it a day.
But I did not want to take the shine off such a magnificent campaign for Durham by announcing it before the end.
I may not have been able to contribute in the way I wished, but I have at least got what I most wanted out of the 2013 season—the County Championship trophy back in the cabinet at Chester-le-Street.
Harmison made his debut for Durham in 1996 and spent his entire career on the books of the county.
He played a key part in Durham’s first County Championship success in 2008, with that win coming alongside his brother, Ben.
Per Cricinfo, Harmison took 744 wickets for Durham, but it was with England that he made his name on the global stage.
Harmison, Andrew Flintoff, Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard formed the feared England bowling attack that snapped Australia’s grip on the Ashes in 2005.
Standing at 6'4", Harmison was one of world cricket’s most feared bowlers. He famously took seven for 12 in the West Indies in 2004. In the 2005 series, everything clicked and he took 17 wickets, including Michael Clarke's at Edgbaston with a brilliant slower ball, as England proved too strong for Australia.
There were occasions, though, when Harmison did not get things exactly right.
Infamously, with the first ball of the following series with Australia later that year, he bowled one of the widest balls ever seen on the international stage—with Flintoff catching it at first slip.
But he will be remembered for his contribution to Durham and England, with his Test record of 226 wickets placing him 12th on the all-time list.