Graham Onion England's Pacer Retires From Professional Cricket

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Graham Onion England's Pacer Retires From Professional Cricket

Post by Harmer » ... am-cricket

Onions retires from professional cricket
September 04 2020

"Graham's talent and drive is still there but unfortunately he has to take this decision on the advice of the medical staff" - Paul Allott
Graham Onions, the former England pacer, has announced his retirement from professional cricket, pulling down the curtains on a 16-year-old first-class career. The 37-year-old Lancashire pacer, who suffered a back injury ahead of his team's opening Bob Willis Trophy game against Leicestershire, was advised to stop playing on medical grounds.

Onions represented England in nine Tests between 2009-2012, picking up 32 wickets at an average of 29.90. He played 192 first-class matches since his debut in 2004, finishing with 723 wickets at an average of 25.70 with 31 five-wicket hauls and three 10-wicket hauls.

Onions played for Durham for a majority of his first-class career before shifting to Lancashire at the end of the 2017 season. He bagged 104 first-class wickets at an average of 20.73 in only 23 matches he played in the two seasons for Lancashire. Before joining Lancashire, Onions had become the leading wicket-taker for Durham with 527 wickets in first-class cricket, and was also part of the team when they won the county championship three times in six years.

Speaking about his decision to retire, Onions said: "This is not the way I wanted to bow out of the game, but I have to listen to the medical staff and have come to terms with the fact I am protecting my health and wellbeing in future years. I gave absolutely everything I could and finish with no regrets. From being part of an Ashes-winning England team to becoming Durham's leading First-Class wicket-taker, I have achieved more than I could have dreamed of when I first started out and feel lucky to have had the privilege of being a First-Class cricketer for so many years.

"I will be forever grateful to Dave Roberts, Sam Byrne, Tom Webster and the rest of Lancashire's medical team for their help, support and professionalism over the last two-and-a-half seasons since I joined. They have been truly fantastic with me and I cannot thank them enough. Glen Chapple, Paul Allott and the rest of the Lancashire staff and players have also made me feel truly welcome from the first moment I joined and I have loved every moment of being in the home changing room at Emirates Old Trafford.

"One of the proudest moments of my career was getting capped by Lancashire and I hope I have worn the Red Rose with the pride and determination expected of the Members. I appreciate all of the considerable support you have shown to me.

"A special mention goes to my wife, Emma, two children, Olly and Esme, as well as my Mam, Dad and sister. None of this would have been possible without them, particularly for their love and support during the toughest times in my career," Onions said.

Onions has also served in a coaching capacity for Lancashire, helping the progress of the young bowlers. He will continue to do so till the end of the 2020 season and also explore coaching opportunities in the future. "Coaching has been an increasing passion of mine over the last few seasons and I am looking forward to exploring opportunities to pass on my knowledge and experience over the coming years. I have plenty left to give the game in an off-field capacity."

Paul Allott, Lancashire's director of cricket, said: "It's a sad day when anyone has to retire from professional sport and even more so when it is effectively taken out of their control. As we have seen in his performances over the last few years, Graham's talent and drive is still there but unfortunately he has to take this decision on the advice of the medical staff.

"I would like to congratulate him on not only what he has achieved at Lancashire, but also across his 16-year career in professional cricket. He has been the consummate professional and a shining example to young bowlers of what you can achieve when you match talent with the dedication and desire he has displayed throughout his career. As far as skilled fast bowlers in county cricket, they do not come much better than Bunny and were it not for some injuries at key times at his peak, he certainly would have played more for England," he said.
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