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Durham's Steve Harmison on radar for Yorkshire
Yorkshire are believed to be lining up a loan move for Durham’s Steve Harmison as they look to avoid a personnel crisis in their fast bowling department.
Mitchell Starc is set to link up with Australia ‘A’ after the end of the Friends Life t20 group campaign tomorrow, meaning he will miss the next two County Championship matches, while Ryan Sidebottom is due to be out until the end of the month with a calf injury.
Harmison, a two-time Ashes winner with England and once rated as the number one fast bowler in the world, has struggled to establish himself in Durham’s first-team this summer due to injury and loss of form.
The 33-year-old has not played in the ongoing Twenty20 campaign for Durham, taking only six wickets in three Championship matches in 2012.
Yorkshire, whose t20 tie against Lancashire was washed out at Old Trafford last night, have also offered a new contract to Joe Sayers, their vice-captain currently out of the first team.
The opener has suffered a frustrating summer having not played a first-team match since the County Championship win against Gloucestershire at Bristol between May 9 and 12 when he scored just one in their pursuit of 400.
He has scored only 165 runs in five division two matches with a top score of 45, although he was not helped by opening the batting against the new ball on bowler-friendly pitches.
Sayers, 28, has since been stuck in the White Rose second XI, for whom he has a top-score of 49 in seven matches in all competitions.
An attempt to return to first-team colours has not been helped by the weather. All four days of last week’s Championship and one-day Trophy matches against Derbyshire were washed out, the second time that has happened this summer.
Sayers is expected to agree to the extension of his current deal, which runs out in the summer.
White Rose director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon confirmed: “We are discussions with Joe, and I think he’ll be staying with us.
“His pre-season went well. He then got a few runs early in the season without getting a big score.
“The pitches were tricky with the weather as it was, but he’ll be back.
“You know what Joe’s like, he’s working hard at his game. He just needs some cricket.
“The problem is that he’s not had any cricket in the second-team. Their game was abandoned without a ball bowled again, so there’s been no cricket for him this week. We’re all just trying to get practice when we can, but it’s difficult. It’s about dodging it as much as we can at the moment.”
Yorkshire will find out their quarter-final opponents after tomorrow’s clash with Derbyshire at Headingley, but they are understandably confident of going all the way after a run of six successive wins in completed matches.
“We can definitely win it if we carry on playing the cricket we have been,” said batsman Joe Root, who is also proving to be a useful asset with the ball too, highlighted by taking a wicket with his first ball against Nottinghamshire on Thursday.
“The dressing room is a completely different environment to last year when we were struggling. We’re just having fun.
“Notts are a very good side, and to beat them as comprehensively as we did was fantastic. It just goes to show who well we’ve played in the competition so far.”
Yorkshire return to Championship action when they travel to Southampton to face Hampshire on Wednesday.