Marton Cricket Club - Steve Harmison Exclusive interview

Eric: Games like this give a great deal of kudos to clubs like Marton, have you enjoyed your visit?

Steve:It's been very's quite important to get games in now and build up match fitness. The groundstaff have done a fantastic job with the pitch and despite all the rain over the last two days the wicket has played very well.
I didn't come down yesterday as we had planned to bat if we had won the toss, so I remained at the Riverside. However, once the fixture was reduced to one day I was only too happy to come back down to Marton.The benefits are there for both sides really as It is a great opportunity for some of the 16 year olds playing for Yorkshire to test their batting skills against a couple of international bowlers also.

Eric: Over the past year you have retired from international cricket, what are your plans for the future? I noticed you coaching the younger players earlier today do you have any aspirations to go into coaching?

Steve: Coaching?.... definitely not!...I am 'unofficially' retired from international cricket, so my priority is to ensure that Durham are as successful as possible.In terms of coaching the younger players, both Liam Plunkett and I feel that it is important for the senior players to lead by example and get involved, I know that when I was a younger player you used to listen to everything the senior pros said to you because in effect they had ' been there, done that'.

Eric: It was something of a frustrating end to the County Championship season last year for Durham, how do you rate your prospects for this season?

Steve: I don't necessarily agree with that Eric, we only lost the title by 10 points last season...if we had had an extra session at Worcestershire i think we would have won it. I think that because Durham have been very successful over the past few years that expectations have been raised a little high.

Eric: Were injuries to key players the reason for falling a little short?

Steve:No I wouldn't want to use that as an excuse....that's why you have a squad of 27 players, to be fair some of these players in our second team would get into the first teams of most counties, we have a lot of good players at Durham and it's not always easy to accommodate them all. A good example would be Paul Collingwood who is now able to play more games for Durham. Since he returned someone has had to make way for him, simply because you can't leave a player with his ability and experience out of the side.

Eric: Finally Steve, do you have any advice for any of the younger players at Marton who are aspiring to make the grade?

Steve; I think that it is very important for coaches and players to retain an enthusiasm for the game. These days kids can switch from one sport to another very quickly, so maintaining their enthusiasm for cricket is essential given that there are so many other sports competing for their attention.The other aspect to focus on is for coaches not to worry too much about technical aspects of the game because 13-15 year olds change so much physically so their game will adapt constantly. As long as they still enjoy playing cricket and they keep coming back, you will be fine.

Eric: Many thanks for your time and for being involved here at Marton today.

Steve: No problem, it's been a real pleasure....anytime.