LITESPORT 46 Friday, 11 September 2009 London Lite Its the end of the road for Harmy STEVEHARMISONSinternationalcareer looks to be over after the England and Wales Cricket Board failed to award him either a central or increment contract. TheDurhampaceman,30, (right), who was once ranked as the No1 fast bowler in Test cricket, has been deemed surplus to requirements along with Monty Panesar. Harmison was recalled to the Test team for the final two games of the Ashes series but failed to justify his inclusion,whilePanesarwas dropped after the draw in Cardiff,despitehismatch-sav- ing efforts with the bat. The pair both received full deals last year, along with former captain Michael Vaughan, who retired earlier this summer. Injured all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, meanwhile, has been handedoneof Englandsincre- ment contracts for the next 12 months. Flintoff, 31, did not qualify for a fullcentralcontract becausehe iscurrentlyrecoveringfromknee surgery. But Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and Graham Onions are among the 11 players awarded the full, annual deals. Following his retirement from Test cricket, Andrew Flintoff is no longer eligible for a 12-month cen- tral contract, said national selec- tor Geoff Miller. The decision to award an incre- mentalcontracttoAndrewreflects our view that he will still have an importantroletoplayinourone-day side going forward and we wish him well with his rehabilitation from injury. As we saw in this summers npower Ashes Test series, he remains a world- class talent. Of the new batch of awards, Miller added: I am delighted that Graham Onions, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann have all been awarded 12-month central contracts for the first time. Central contracts are designed to reward players who perform well consistently for England and all threehavemadeaverysignificant contribution to the teams recent success in regaining the Ashes and beatingWestIndiesathomeinboth Test and one-day series. Hamilton off to a quick start LEWIS HAMILTON was fastest in first practice for the Italian Grand Prix at a sunny Monza circuit earlier today. The defending world champion clocked 1:23.936 as he led his team- mate Heikki Kovalainen home to complete a McLaren one-two. Championship leader Jenson Button was seventh fastest in his Brawn with team-mate and title rival Rubens Barrichello 12th. Red Bulls Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel were 9th and 18th. Ferrari debutant Giancarlo Fisichella was eighth fastest as he got to grips with the famous red car for the first time. Button ready for Monza, but so is Barrichello JENSON BUTTON goes into Sundays Italian Grand Prix telling those who doubt his world championship credentials: Im in a good place. Button has come under growing fire for allowing his title charge to lose momentum, but he went into the opening practice session at Monza this morning insisting: There are five Grands Prix still left, and Im looking forward to every race. I have a 16-point lead, which is a good position to be in as the championship is coming to a close. Im in a good place. That, however, may change if Brawn GP team-mate Rubens Barrichello maintains his incredible record of success at the historic Monza circuit that includes two victories for Ferrari and an unbroken run of finishes that stretches back to 2001. Since storming to victory in the European Grand at Valencia last month, the veteran Brazilian has eaten into the championship advantage Button built up with six wins from the seasons opening seven races. Barrichello -- with just 10 Grand Prix victories in 283 attempts -- may even be asked to let team-mate Button take advantage of team orders if the pair are both going for victory, but after years of being Michael Schumachers fall-guy at Ferrari, Barrichello insists: I wont accept it. Theres a real point here. Its in the best interests of the team to push forward because Red Bull can be quite strong in the last races. Im a team player who wants to win the championship, and Im fighting for it. If I can see that there is no mathematical way for me then for sure. But until then... BY NEAL COLLINS Monza monster: Jenson Button prepares for practice today DRIVERS CHSHIP 1. JENSONBUTTON(GB)BRAWN 72PTS 2. RUBENSBARRICHELLO(BRZ)BRAWN 56 3. SEBASTIANVETTEL(GER)REDBULL 53 4. MARKWEBBER(AUS)REDBULL 51.5 5. KIMIRAIKKONEN(FIN)FERRARI 34 6. NICOROSBERG(GER)WILLIAMS 30.5 7. LEWISHAMILTON(GB)MCLAREN 27 8. JARNOTRULLI(ITA)TOYOTA 22.5 9. FELIPEMASSA(BRZ)FERRARI 22 10.HEIKKIKOVALAINEN(FIN)MCLAREN 17 Qualifying: Tomorrow, BBC1, from 12.10pm Race: Sunday, BBC1, from 12.10pm Centralcontracts:JamesAnderson,IanBell, StuartBroad,PaulCollingwood,AlastairCook, GrahamOnions,KevinPietersen,MattPrior,Ryan Sidebottom,AndrewStrauss,GraemeSwann Incrementcontracts:RaviBopara,TimBresnan, AndrewFlintoff,AdilRashid,OwaisShah,Jonathan Trott,LukeWright. 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