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When Steve Harmison ‘lost it’ during a university game in Durham

Harmison University
by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Steve Harmison, speaking on talkSport’s Following On podcast, recalled an instance when he “lost it” during a university game in Durham, angrily peppering the opposition’s No.10 with a barrage of short balls under fading light.

“I lost it once in a game against Durham University – believe it or not – against students,” Harmison said. “It was pitch black, it was dark. They were nine down, end of that year, I am thinking it’s about minus two in Durham – I don’t even think it was April. It was March.

“I think Neil Mallender was the umpire and he offered the batsmen the light to go off, Nos.10 and 11. There was a kid from Kent, Rob Ferley, at the non-striker’s end, (he) said “No, no. We’ll stay on.”

Harmison, who took 458 wickets for Durham during his 16-year-long first-class career for the side, couldn’t believe his ears when the batsmen said he’d decided to stay put under the fading light.

“It’s freezing. I can see a cup of tea with steam coming off it on the balcony and I’ve got ‘You what? You wanna stay on?’ and he looked up to me and was like ‘Yea, yea. We have never had a chance to experience anything like this.’

The angst came out at Ferley’s batting partner, who was given a heavy dose of the short ball.

“It was the first time I bowled with a jumper on. A long-sleeved jumper on, oh dear. Jumper came off. I bowled six bouncers at this poor No.10, I can’t remember his name, while Ferley stayed at the non-striker’s end. We’ve gone and bowled another over, come back down, I’ve got Ferley at my end. He looked at the umpire, asked for the light and walked off. I was seething! I was seething!”

“I must admit. Couple of pints, I controlled myself to get myself ready to bowl the next day.”

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