Ex-England bowler Graham Onions eager to stay at Durham, but no sign of a new contract offer

Long-serving Durham bowler Graham Onions.
Long-serving Durham bowler Graham Onions.

Graham Onions reminded Durham this week that he is desperate to continue playing and also wants to get into coaching.

“There’s nothing on the table at the moment, which doesn’t give me a great deal of hope,” said the former England Test paceman, whose contract runs out at the end of the season.

“I might potentially have to move elsewhere, but leaving here is the last thing I want to do.”

Onions will turn 35 next Saturday and his four wickets against Derbyshire on Tuesday were his first since suffering a back injury at Hove in May.

He has been fit for a while, but Durham have not used him in one-day cricket for the last two seasons, something which he admits he finds frustrating.

“It’s something I have to get my head round,” said Onions.

“I still think I have a lot to offer in white-ball cricket, but I have to respect that the club are going down a different route.

“Travelling to outgrounds to play second-team cricket is not ideal, but I need to get the overs in, so I’m ready for days like Tuesday.”

The four wickets took his first-class total to 600, which includes 32 he took in his nine Tests between 2009-2012.

He still needs seven to equal the Durham record of 518 first-class wickets, held by left-armer Simon Brown.

“That’s the goal I’m really working towards,” added Onions.

“That would be very special after being at the club so long.

“I came here from Gateshead Fell and I have put in a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

“I still want to run in and compete and take wickets for as long as I can and I can’t imagine not doing it here.”

He acknowledges that there are a lot of good young seamers at the club who can also bat and referred to Matthew Potts as a “junior Jacques Kallis” following his maiden half-century against Derbyshire.

“I have enjoyed working with lads like Brydon Carse and James Weighell,” said Onions.

“The future is very bright, but they need an old-timer like me to help them along the way.”

T20 captain Paul Coughlin suffered a side strain against Derbyshire and is unlikely to play again this season, but England bowler Mark Wood is ready to return at home to Kent in the Championship on Tuesday (10.30am start).

He made his comeback from a bruised heel in two one-day games against Scotland A this week, scoring an unbeaten 55 as Durham avenged a big defeat in the first match.