Flop Harmison's Ashes despair is brought to book

Last updated at 01:25 02 March 2007

A diary of England’s woeful Ashes tour could

receive as much flak after its launch on March

17 as World Cup books did after the national

football team’s sorry showing in Germany.

The author is fast bowler Steve Harmison,

despite his disappointing form in the series

which, coupled with an apparent lack of effort,

was a big factor behind the side’s 5-0 whitewash.

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Harmison writing Ashes Frontline, the Ashes

war diaries of Steve Harmison and Justin

Langer, to be published by Green Umbrella, has

already caused consternation within the England

and Wales Cricket Board following the

bowler’s abject time Down Under.

It’s unlikely

the public will be any more understanding, such

was the disappointment at Harmison’s contribution.

The book, which is understood to be full of

excuses for Harmison’s lack of success, is

already available to order on line at Amazon and

Cricshop, which promotes it as explaining how

the two players keep their "concentration, focus

and composure" in such a fiercely-contested


In Harmy’s case those credentials went

pear-shaped with his first ball in the first Test at

Brisbane, which went straight to second slip.

The concept was devised by concert promoter

and cricket fan Malcolm Spencer, who also put

the different parts of the book together.

He said: "Steve got a bigger rap than he

deserved. I felt he was back to his best by the

third Test in Perth."

CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown may be Prime

Minister-in-waiting, but his influence on

Scottish football politics remains minimal.

Brown’s bid to get FIFA president Sepp Blatter’s

water-tight assurance that Scotland supplying

players for a British football side at the 2012

Olympics would not affect their independent

standing has underwhelmed the Scottish FA,

whose spokesman, Andy Mitchell, said: "It will

make no difference whatsoever. Blatter will

not be president in 2012, so Scotland’s position

on this issue will not change."

BBC Sport hardly gave the

impression that the FA Cup

is a major part of their

rights portfolio this week.

Main football anchor Gary

Lineker was playing golf in

a Barbados pro-am event

instead of hosting the Reading

v Manchester United FA

Cup fifth round replay,

which new girl Gabby

Logan presented.

WITH Cardiff now seen as the venue from

Hell after the Carling Cup Final fiasco on

the First Great Western train service, there will

be relief among fans that the Football League

— at a cost — have agreed a month’s delay until

the end of March with the Millennium Stadium

before saying where the play-off finals will be

staged. By then Wembley should have its safety

certificate and will be announced as the venue.

THE battle of the spin doctors at free-falling

West Ham looks like ending with former News of

the World editor Phil Hall leaving the club at the

end of the season.

New Icelandic owner Eggert Magnusson

brought in London 2012 bid chief Mike Lee as

his strategist and has recommended installing

an in-house PR team rather than outsourcing

work to Hall.

THE proposed film version of David Peace’s

acclaimed book The Damned United, about

Brian Clough’s 44 days at Leeds, continues to

spark heated debate about the issue.

The latest

story comes from the best friend of former

Leeds director Bob Roberts, one of Clough’s

interviewers for the job. Only Cloughie could

have turned up more than an hour late and the

worse for wear and still be appointed manager.

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