Middlesex still missing Harris

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Middlesex’s James Harris, this winter’s highest-profile transfer, has been ruled out of the London derby with Surrey at Lord’s, which starts tomorrow.

The 22-year-old seam-bowling all-rounder, who joined from Glamorgan, missed Middlesex’s last LV= County Championship game, the home win over Derbyshire, with a left hamstring problem. He returned versus Cambridge MCCU last week and played a friendly 40-over match against the Unicorns on Sunday when he felt further discomfort. He has been told by the club doctor to rest for two weeks.

Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser said: “Everybody at the club feels sorry for James, who is desperate to get his time at Middlesex off and running. But we are all confident that this is just a minor setback and that he will have a major role to play in our season as it develops.

James Harris

James Harris has not played in the LV= County Championship since the first round of 2013 games when Middlesex beat Nottinghamshire

“At the moment we have the fast bowling resources to cope with James’ injury and it will be great to get him back fully fit for when Steven Finn departs for England duty.”

This could be Finn’s last appearance for the Division One leaders before he goes on international duty and England team-mate Eoin Morgan remains at the Indian Premier League.

All-rounder Gareth Berg has been rested to give his shoulder time to recover and spinner Ollie Rayner is omitted from a 12-man squad given the Lord’s wicket is expected to favour seamers.

Ravi Patel, Gurjit Sandhu and Ollie Wilkin, none of whom have played in Middlesex’s two championship fixtures, have been sidelined. Patel fell and cracked his right wrist that, after an operation, has ruled him out for two months, Sandhu suffered a severe right hamstring tear versus Cambridge and Wilkin has a side problem.

Surrey batsman Arun Harinath has recovered from the hand injury that kept him out of last week’s draw with Sussex and is part of a 13-strong squad missing Stuart Meaker, who has a thigh problem.

Last season’s corresponding match was a thriller that Surrey, who were 101 for four chasing 141 for victory, lost by three runs.

Their team director Chris Adams, whose side are bottom of an embryonic table, said: “The London derby is always a special game and I have no doubt that this will be a tough and hard fought match against Middlesex.

“Our recent record in the championship at Lord’s is not good and that is something we will be aiming to change over the next four days.

“Middlesex are the form side in the division and we are looking forward to testing ourselves against them after our solid performances against Somerset and Sussex.”

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