|Event:||Australia in British Isles 2009|
DateLine: 3rd August 2009
Steve Harmison is desperate to take on Australia again after missing out on selection so far in the Ashes. The Durham paceman has returned to top form for his county and troubled the tourists in their final warm-up against the England Lions.
However, he has been overlooked by the selectors in favour of Durham team-mate Graham Onions but the 31-year-old still hopes to get his chance in the final two Tests at Headingley or the Oval. If he doesn't, Harmison must come to terms with that fact that his last Ashes experience was the disappointing 5-0 whitewash Down Under two years ago.
"The truth is that, much as I love playing for Durham, I'm desperate to play against Australia. You can't overestimate how desperate," he told the Mail on Sunday.
"I'd have given everything to have played at Lord's, to be playing now in Birmingham and to play in Leeds.
"It took us 20 years to win the Ashes back in 2005 - and just 18 months to lose them. I'd like to think I could be part of winning them back."
And the paceman added he has no thoughts of retiring from any level of the game even if he fails to make it back into the Ashes side.
"I have no intention of retiring from Test cricket. The idea that I see this series as a chance of a farewell is not in my thoughts," he added.
"It may be that England do not see a future for me beyond the end of this summer. If that is the case, there is nothing I can do about it. But I'm not going to tell them I'm not available.
As for now, I did think I had a good chance of playing in Birmingham, had the pitch been a bit drier. I sensed I was close."