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Graham Onions to retire from professional cricket

Graham Onions to retire from professional cricket

The 37-year-old has been advised to retire on medical grounds

Lancashire fast bowler Graham Onions has announced his retirement from professional cricket after a 16-year career.

The 37-year-old has been advised to stop playing professional sport on medical grounds after suffering a back injury prior to the opening Bob Willis Trophy fixture of the season against Leicestershire.

Onions, who is widely regarded as a modern day legend of county cricket, joined Lancashire at the end of the 2017 season and has been a regular in First-Class cricket over the last two seasons.

In that time he amassed 104 First-Class scalps for the Red Rose, coming in just 23 matches at an average of only 20.73. He has five five-wicket hauls under his belt Lancashire, with a best of 6/55 against Nottinghamshire in May 2018.

As well as remaining a high-class bowler, Onions has also helped to progress Lancashire’s young bowlers in a coaching capacity during his time at Emirates Old Trafford. He will continue to work with the Red Rose until the end of the 2020 season.

Capped nine times at Test level, the Gateshead-born seamer took 32 wickets and also made four One-Day International appearances.

He earned a place on the Lord’s honours board by taking 5/38 on debut against the West Indies in 2009 and was an Ashes winner in the same year. Those performances saw him named a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2010.

His legacy will remain putting home county Durham on the cricketing map, featuring as a central part of their side during the glory years in which they won three County Championships in six years.

Shortly before leaving for Lancashire, Onions became the Durham’s all-time leading wicket-taker in First-Class cricket and finished with 527 scalps for the North East outfit.

Speaking on his retirement, Graham 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.

“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.”

Lancashire’s Director of Cricket, Paul Allott, 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.

“Everyone at Lancashire Cricket and Emirates Old Trafford wish him all the very best for the future and thank him for his considerable and invaluable contributions to the Club.”

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