Graham Onions: 10 interesting facts about one of England’s most promising bowlers

Born September 9, 1982, Graham Onions is an English cricketer who could have done wonders if injuries did not weigh down his cricketing career. Onions is an immaculate bowler and dead right with his line and length mixed with some serious pace. On the occasion of his 35th birthday, Suraj Choudhari pens down 10 interesting facts about the unlucky bowler. 

1.  Badminton: Before focusing entirely on cricket, Onions also flirted with the game of Badminton and made his way to the England U-15 side. 

2.  From street to stadium: Like many other cricketers, Onions initially started playing cricket in the streets. His journey from the street to the England national side has been fascinating.

3.  Impactful Test debut: Onions made the headlines in his Test debut against West Indies at the iconic Lord’s in May 2009, when he had five West Indian scalps to his name in the first innings. He finished the Test with seven wickets to his name.

4.  Key Role in Ashes 2009:Onions had a decent run in the 2009 Ashes at home; in three appearances he clinched 10 wickets at an average 30.30 and kept chipping in with crucial wickets.

5.  Saved the day with the bat: Onions bailed England out of crisis on couple of occasions in the first and the third Test of Basil D’Oliveira Trophy against South Africa, at Centurion and Cape Town respectively in 2009. In the Centurion Test, South Africa needed one wicket to win in the fourth innings but it was not meant to be. Onions stuck to his guns and confronted 19 deliveries without throwing his wicket away. He replicated the same performance in the Cape Town Test and saved the day for England. The series resulted in a draw and a lot of its credit goes to Onions for his temperament with the bat at No. 11.

6.  Named in the Wisden Almanack: Onions found himself in the limelight when he was mentioned in Wisden Cricketer’s Almanack in April 2010, as one of its five cricketers of the year 2009.

7.  Dreadful injury in 2010: Onions witnessed incessant injuries pulling him down throughout the career. In 2010, he suffered an awful back injury which probably hampered his chances in international cricket. The injury also restricted him from playing cricket till 2011.

8.  Back with a bang into the Test side: Onions, after being out of England team for a long time made a strong comeback in a Test against West Indies where he accounted for four wickets for 88 runs. This eventually turned out to be his last game in whites as he did not feature for any Test further.

9.  Alluring First-Class records Onions’ Fist-Class records are eye catching. In 167 First-Class outings, Onions bagged 611 wickets at a remarkable average of just over 26 with 26 five-wicket hauls. He has been a giant for Durham for almost a decade and half.

10.  Injuries continue to haunt: Onions possesses immense talent and potential to shine in international cricket just like he did in the domestic circuit. But incessant injuries denied him of having his success pie at the highest level. However, he had an uncanny knack of making poignant comebacks whenever he got an opportunity.

(Suraj Choudhari, an avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with Criclife)