Harmison misses Ashes squad to face Australia

LONDON : Steve Harmison has been left out of England's squad for the first Ashes test against Australia, despite the fast bowler's recent success against the tourists in a warmup match.

The 30-year-old paceman took six wickets for England Lions during a four-day match against Australia which finished in a draw on Saturday in Worcester. He dismissed Australian opener Phil Hughes in both innings and his new ball attack at Lord's set the tone for England's Ashes success back in 2005.

But selectors opted on Sunday for his Durham teammate Graham Onions in a 13-man squad for the first encounter of the five-test series, which starts on Wednesday in Cardiff.

Along with Onions, Ian Bell was also added to the 11 who drew with Warwickshire in a three-day warm-up match at Edgbaston earlier in the week.

"We were delighted with the way in which the team performed in the warm-up match at Edgbaston and it was very encouraging to see Andrew Flintoff bowl so well on his return to the side," England selector Geoff Miller told the England and Wales Cricket Board's Web site.

"We were keen to show consistency in selection and retain the nucleus of the side that performed so well against West Indies...

earlier this summer. Graham Onions has made an excellent start to his test career and gives us a different option when we consider the make-up of our bowling attack and the type of conditions we will encounter." --- England squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff, Graham Onions, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann