Frustrated Graham Onions draws strength from darkest days

Onions was overlooked for selection for England's upcoming Ashes series despite impressing yet again for Durham

Graham Onions is drawing on the experience of his darkest hours as a cricketer in an effort to get over the disappointment of being left out of England’s Ashes squad for their tour Down Under.

The Durham pace bowler took 66 wickets at a cost of just 17 as Durham claimed their third County Championship in six years – but that was still not enough to earn him a ticket to Australia. Instead he is hoping to make a splash with the KwaZulu-Natal-based Sunfoil Dolphins in an attempt to remind England what they are missing across the Indian Ocean. 

Onions is still clearly hugely disappointed at missing out on a first Ashes tour, but after not bowling a ball in anger between January 2010 and April 2011 as a result of a potentially career-ending back injury, the 31-year-old has maintained a sense of perspective that might have otherwise been lacking.

“There were a lot of times over that period when I was out of the game that were really, really dark times,” he told  The Independent.  “I’m happy to say now that everything has gone in the right direction and I can look back now and say that I’ve learnt a lot and taken a lot of positives.

“Unfortunately, that time out of the game has cost me a lot of appearances for my country but that’s professional sport, that’s something I’m going to have to live with.

“It’s funny, when I was doing my rehab I just kept saying, ‘All I want to do is play one more game for Durham.’ Now the frustration is not getting picked in an Ashes squad and I’ve really got to remember those tough times I had and remember what I said to myself. I need to keep thinking about how well I’ve done getting back from that injury.” 

His performances since returning to the fray have been little short of remarkable, particularly this summer when he spearheaded Durham’s charge to another title and comfortably outbowled his main competitors for an England place.

Ultimately, though, it was a lack of inches, rather than a lack of wickets that led to him missing out.

“I’m not going to go into a great deal of detail, whatever was said was between me, the captain, the coach and the selectors but they basically said that when they picked the squad they went for the taller guys because that’s what they wanted in Australia,” he said.

“That’s the bottom line. That’s bitterly hard to take but I have to take it on the chin and force my way in. At the end of my career I’ll look back and be very proud of what I’ve achieved but at this stage in my career I feel like I can be doing bigger and better things.

“I feel like I could be playing for England because that’s what I would love to be doing. It’s everyone’s dream and I’m no different. I’m an ambitious guy and I want to compete against the best in the world and there’s no better place to do that than in international cricket.” 

After his own experiences, Onions has no wish to see any member of England’s attack pick up an injury in Australia. But if they do, he is ready.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
Northern soul mecca the Wigan Casino
fashionGone are the punks, casuals, new romantics, ravers, skaters, crusties. Now all kids look the same
Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past