London: Axed England fast bowler Stephen Harmison hit back at cutting comments from batting great Geoffrey Boycott by labelling him a "a waste of space" and just a "Yorkshire accent".
Former Yorkshire and England opener Boycott praised the selectors for leaving out both Harmison and fellow seamer Matthew Hoggard from the side that won the second Test against New Zealand.
Boycott, now an outspoken media analyst, went even further in his criticism of Harmison by saying the Durham quick's lacklustre display in England's first Test defeat was just the latest example of an ongoing decline.
"Since the Ashes series of 2005 he has been poor, indifferent to bad. He's not got enough wickets and been given so many chances," Boycott wrote in his column for Britain's Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
"There comes a point when the public and selectors get fed up and disillusioned with a guy not delivering. That time has come.
"If he gets a central contract this (English) summer over some of the new kids, or any sort of central contract, then a lot of us will be screaming: favouritism and a total waste of money. England should forget him."
Harmison, displaying the kind of aggression Boycott would like him to show on the field, hit back by saying in his Sunday column in Mail: "No one can dispute the man could bat but over the years he has developed an equally well deserved reputation as someone who thrives on kicking a man when he is down."
He added: "People who only have a passing interest in the game hear the famous Geoff Boycott Yorkshire accent and may think it gives some status to his opinions. But inside the dressing room he has no status, he is just an accent, some sort of caricature of a professional Yorkshireman.
"Well, Geoffrey, you've had your say about me more than enough times. Now I'm having mine. You say that if England give me another central contract come October that would be waste of money. To me, you are a waste of space."
England, with the 29-year-old Harmison again left out in favour of younger quick Stuart Broad, ended Sunday's second day of the third and final Test in Napier on 91 for two in their second innings, a lead of 176.