Riding on superb county form, former South Africa spinner Simon Harmer eyeing to play for England

Riding on superb county form, former South Africa spinner Simon Harmer eyeing to play for England

Harmer played five Tests for South Africa before signing a Kolpak deal with Essex.

Simon Harmer of Essex
Simon Harmer of Essex. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

England’s ‘rainbow squad’ that helped them win their maiden ICC World Cup has bolstered others to play for the Three Lions at the international level. Arrangements like Kolpak and fast-tracking talents like Jofra Archer have made cricketers from other nations encouraged to appear for England and one among them is spinner Simon Harmer.

At 30, the right-arm off-break bowler Harmer is not getting younger but given his rich exploits for Essex with the ball, he is confident of making it to the England team as did Archer earlier this year. England fast-tracked the West Indian-born fast bowler to play for them and he has served them well till now.

Simon Harmer knows it is not easy but after having bowled Essex to almost winning their second championship in three years, the man thinks he is on the right track. Earlier this year, he took 7 for 58 in a first-class game against Surrey at Chelmsford to give his side an innings win.

On Saturday, he will be leading Essex’s attempt to win their maiden T20 title and then next week, against Somerset in what is now the championship decider. Harmer knows a little bit of extra attention could see him qualifying for a country he wants to make his home after he accepted a one-year Kolpak contract in 2017.

“I’d love to play for England. I think I’ve shown I have the potential, ability and work ethic to play international cricket again. I’ve certainly proved it to myself because you do wonder if you are good enough. I feel I am now, but how can I proclaim to be the best off-spinner in the world when I’m not competing on the international stage? Perhaps one day in the future that could change,” Harmer was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

Harmer played five Tests for SA

Simon Harmer played five Tests for South Africa in 2015 in which he took 20 wickets at an average of below 30. In county cricket, he has taken 212 first-division wickets at 20 apiece in less than three seasons. Harmer, however, knows that it is easier said than done. “The ECB would have to deal with the backlash, repercussions and consequences of selecting somebody who has played five Tests for South Africa,” he added.

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