Onions: I’m here to help
GRAHAM Onions has urged Lancashire fans to give him the chance to show he is worthy of a place in the side next season.
The 35-year-old, who arrived at Emirates Old Trafford for the first time on Tuesday since joining Lancashire from Durham, admits he is in the twilight of a career which has seen him win nine Test caps for England .
And there are some who have suggested his arrival will block local young talent, such as Saqib Mahmood and Tom Bailey, despite the departures of Kyle Jarvis and Ryan McLaren for next season.
However, Onions, who is also a qualified level four coach, believes his arrival will only help his new team-mates.
But he has also warned he is desperate to play a full role in the County Championship side next year and secure more silverware before he hangs up his boots.
“I am on Twitter and you read people saying I am taking the places of some young lads,” said Onions. “But if I am good enough I will get in the side, and if they are good enough they will get in the side ahead of me.
“I want to lead the attack here at what is a special club, I want to open the bowling, but if other players are better than me they will play. It’s as simple as that. And I am hoping to help them along the way too.
“Please just give me the opportunity to show I can do it for Lancashire as I have done for Durham.
“Deep down, I know I am a decent bowler, my record is alright.
“I am not just here to finish off my career, I want to win things.
“I am a determined cricketer and stubborn person. I want to keep on improving and be as good as I can be.
“If I do my prep now through the winter, there is no reason why I can’t play every game next year. That’s my plan. I feel I will bowl a lot of overs next season and take a lot of wickets.
“If I don’t play every game, then fair enough – but my aim is to play in every match and help this county win games and trophies.
“I have a few more five-fors in me and I have the chance again to show people how good I am at the top level.”
Onions admits it has been difficult to end the 17-year association with Durham. But the lure of a two-year deal with Lancs along with the chance to do some coaching was too big a pull.
“The chance to coach was massive for me,” he said. “The opportunity to travel with the squad to away games in white ball cricket if I am not playing and to help Chappie out.
“People see me as a bowler and a player, but I am a level four coach too. I know my stuff. I have come to a county where they have welcomed me with open arms and I will be there to help players if they want me too.
“I can develop young lads who may need a bit of help to come through and eventually take my place. That’s part of my job, to nurture some of these lads on their way.”
“I am excited for that side of things as well.”