No Balls

3/06/2008 12:41:00 pm / The truth was spoken by Rich /

The biggest lemon in professional sport is not actually Robbie Savage as you may have thought. It's actually Steve Harmison - England's supposed demon fast-bowler - by quite some way in fact.

If you're not really into cricket you may be working under the assumption that mincing is a prerequisite for it's players, but no. Not true.

You have to be border line crazy as fuck or really rather brave to play cricket professionally as it happens. Batsman have to face bowlers capable of bowling at 90mph but also Steve Harmison, who's lucky if he can get through an over without bursting into tears.

I've always associated the North East of England with blokes who walk around in winter in just a vest and don't even get erect nipples. Steve Harmison must be the exception that proves the rules.

He complains about being homesick, he's whined about the food in India and the chips in Australia being the wrong shape about not having the right boots to bowl in and about the smell of his hotel soap. He can't sleep at night without first phoning his mam who reads him a story and the ECB are paying him around £250,000 for his services.

What a fucking joke. And we sit about scratching out heads wondering why we never win anything in this country. I watched him last night against New Zealand launching no-ball after no-ball in the general direction of the disinterested batsman and spectators fearing for their lives, and he looked ashamed to be out there, like an eight year-old who has to go to school with an embarrassing haircut. Steve Harminson's got a fucking MBE for Christs sake!! We'd be better off giving a gay hairdresser the new ball.

It's all the same; football; rugby; cricket; we afford these arrogant mincers such privileged lifestyles and in return we get fuck all people. Pre-ma-fucking donna's. Bunch of silly hair-cuts and tattoos with a series of gay orgies thrown in for good measure. Not a single professional sportsman between them. As soon as I make my million I'm going to move immediately to a country that has some decent wicket takers, you just see if I don't.

* * *

The diary of Steve Harmison aged 26 3/4

"I burst onto the scene four years ago, and bowled fast and was heralded as the next big thing. I did very well on my first big overseas tour to the West Indies taking a lot of wickets including 7 when we bowled them out for 45.

However things started to go wrong, the Aussies took me apart and every winter on tour I would get homesick for the Gallowgate End and I would be a reluctant tourist. Soon technical flaws crept in but I did not really like my coaches and they sent me for psychological testing which was gobbledygook to me. I was still bowling fast but the wickets were becoming fewer.

Last winter I was out of form again. I bowled the first ball of the Ashes series, straight to second slip for a wide. The Aussies jeered me and I wanted the ground to swallow me up. At the end of the poor tour I decided to retire from one day cricket in case a less onerous schedule might help.

In the first test of this summer I sprayed it all over the place again, against under-prepared opponents who I needed to bowl asccurately to in helpful conditions. I don't respond to coaching, I am hugely suspect temperamentally, I hate it when I am not in the North East and I think I should be dropped until I rediscover some of that which has been missing for three years"

Might it be you were never that good in the first place Steve? Hmmm? Hmmm?


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