Steve Harmison has stated that winning the Ashes in 2009 is the highest priority for him.
"This is going to be an exciting and intense 12 months of cricket and I cannot wait. People will go on about the Stanford series and the money that is on offer, but every single Englishman knows the Ashes series against Australia is the one to really win," Harmison told the Journal. "The money on offer for the Stanford tournament is a lot, but you've got to win it first. We are going out there to represent our country, just as we will do in India and the West Indies this winter. "
Good to see a current player saying this, yet I wonder what effects the explosion of T20 cricket might have in the next few years. Already the international calendar is straining to accommodate all the competitions.
Test cricket, the purist's (ie my) preferred form of the game, is becoming, if not endangered, then vulnerable to the huge financial honeypots of the IPL and its clones. Players like Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist are able to extend their careers while some like Andrew Symonds who are (more or less) in their prime are able to keep themselves in the public eye without playing for their country.
The current Australian tour of India is unusual in that there are no ODI or T20 matches in the program. It would not surprise me if it turned out to be the last four Test series between the two countries, at least in India. The England tour which follows hard on the heels of the Australian one comprises seven ODIs and two tests. Substitute T20s for some (or all the?) ODIs and do we have the template for many future tours?