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Cricket: Summer is finished for injured Harmy; Pace ace ruled out with back problem.

ENGLAND paceman Steve Harmison could be sent abroad to get some bowling under his belt ahead of this winter's Tests.

Harmison, 28, will miss the remainder of Durham's domestic action after a torn muscle in his back ruled him out for six to eight weeks.

Should he recover at the expected rate, he would be ready to play again in mid-October, a month before England set off for the three-Test tour of Sri Lanka.

England's management will consider sending him to compete in domestic cricket overseas-with South Africa and Sri Lanka itself potential options - in a bid to build match-fitness, providing the selectors name him in the touring party which will be announced within a month.

Harmison was ruled out of Durham's stunning Friends Provident Trophy final victory over Hampshire on Saturday following the latest setback in a disjointed season.

Having only recently returned from a hernia operation in his bid to make the county's big day, he complained of soreness in his back during the County Championship clash with Surrey last week.

Previously, attempts to hold off surgery on his troublesome hernia until the end of the season had failed, meaning he missed the entire Test series against India.

Harmison said: "The severity of the injury has surprised everyone and the timing could not be worse.

"Having played for the county through the lean years I was looking forward to playing in Durham's first final."

Harmison struggled for form in the early part of the international summer and had just relocated some rhythm when he attempted to delay surgery to get through the three-match campaign against the Indians.

Despite playing for two weeks after first experiencing discomfort during the fourth Test win over West Indies at Chester-le-Street, Harmison suffered a recurrence of the problem on the eve of the Lord's opener against India.

KENT have launched an appeal to the four rival counties - including Durham-who blocked the award of five compensation points following their abandoned County Championship fixture against Worcestershire.

The England and Wales Cricket Board had proposed to award Kent nine points after their fixture at New Road was washed out during the floods.

However, Lancashire, Yorkshire, Warwickshire and Durham all objected to the proposal and Kent only ended up with the normal four points for a wash-out.

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HARM DONE: Durham and England paceman Steve Harmison will not bowl again this season
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 23, 2007
Words:396
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