Harmison denies Flintoff rumour

England’s Steve Harmison has described claims that Andrew Flintoff was given the England captaincy simply because his close relationship with Harmison helps inspire the fast bowler as “ludicrous”. He has also dismissed rumours about the reason for his withdrawal from the one-day series against Pakistan.

Harmison told the BBC that “it’s down to me to get the best out of me, not Fred. That’s not the reason he was picked. If you need a particular player to be captain to play at your best, you shouldn’t be playing.”

Harmison also dismissed surreptitious assertions in the media that he withdrew from the Pakistan ODIs simply because he does not like playing one-day cricket. “I’m not really bothered what people say about me. I was pulled from those games because I had a sore side, and I probably would have done myself more harm than good.”

England’s Champions Trophy campaign begins against India a week from today.

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