Pacer Steve Harmison cleared for IPL auction

Pacer Steve Harmison became the latest entrant to the burgeoning list of England players bidding to rake in the millions from the lucrative Indian Premier League this season.

Despite his well-publicised aversion to touring and retirement from One-Day Internationals, Harmison has already secured permission from his county, Durham, to join the auction of players available to the franchises, to be held in Goa on February 6.

“Steve’s agent has been in touch to confirm it would be their intention to put Steve into the auction,” Durham’s chief executive David Harker said.

Harker also expects Harmison’s county team-mate Paul Collingwood to put himself forward and is resigned to losing both players for at least three weeks of the county championship season.

“We have to take a pragmatic approach. Clearly, from a selfish point of view Durham would like them playing for us in the Championship rather than in the IPL.

“But we understand why this is attractive to them, and the fact of the matter is the guys are centrally contracted to England – although we still hold their registration, England clearly hold the whip hand,” he was quoted as saying by ‘The Guardian’.

Nottinghamshire have already given their all-rounder Samit Patel permission to enter the auction and Graeme Swann has also asked for a green signal to put himself forward.

Former captain Kevin Pietersen and star all-rounder Andrew Flintoff have earlier confirmed their availability for the auction which will also feature Dimitri Mascarenhas, Samit Patel and Graham Napier.

Ravi Bopara, who rejected offers last year, Owais Shah and Stuart Broad have also aroused interest.

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