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Strange timing for Harmison to move
As Collingwood will surely want to do things his own way the first essential is that he takes the field with the players he wants. His former England team-mate is evidently not among them.
On the simple basis of current form that is understandable and it is questionable why Yorkshire should want Harmison. Sometimes a change of scenery can work wonders, as it appears to have done for Mark Davies at Kent, but Harmison has never flourished away from his home environment. Headingley might not be too far from Ashington, but he won't be playing there as Yorkshire's next four championship matches are all away from home - at Southampton, Chesterfield, Leicester and Northampton.
It might not be a good omen that his first match is in Hampshire because it was there two years ago that his troubles began.
He had just taken seven for 29 in the second innings of a home win against Warwickshire when he produced match figures of one for 140 at Basingstoke. He played in only two of the remaining six games that season, and appeared in only six matches last year.
He took seven of last season's 17 wickets at Worcester, the venue where Durham don't want him this week.
Harmison might play in only the next two matches for Yorkshire and ideally he will find some form and confidence against a lower standard of opposition and return to help Durham maintain division one status.
He and Martyn Moxon know each other well enough from Moxon's time as Durham coach, and it could be that Harmison also fancies working with his old Ashes adversary Jason Gillespie.
It is always difficult to know what is troubling the man who was once the world's No 1 ranked bowler, and the fact that Durham's coaching staff have been unable to sort him out is not a failing on their part.
He is a mystery to himself, and Collingwood will know that as well as anyone. There might still be a chance that he can coax some form out of a colleague with whom he shared two Ashes triumphs. But the loan move has cast doubt on that.