Onions & relish: Lancashire ace delighted to stand in as bowling coach

Lancashire’s Graham Onions has described the chance to help coach one of county cricket’s most talented seam bowling departments as an honour.
Lancashire’s stand-in bowling coach Graham OnionsLancashire’s stand-in bowling coach Graham Onions
Lancashire’s stand-in bowling coach Graham Onions

Ex-England quick Onions has stepped into the gap created by Glen Chapple’s secondment to England as their bowling coach for the ongoing West Indies Test series.

Chapple may be the Red Rose head coach, but the former captain also looks after their plethora of seamers –something now down to Onions in preparation for the belated start of the summer on August 1.

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Another former skipper, Mark Chilton, takes on head coaching duties until Chapple’s return just a few days before the start of the season proper.

He will oversee two-day friendlies against Yorkshire and Derbyshire later this month, while second-team coach Chris Benbow has also stepped up to assist.

Onions said: “When Glen got the fantastic news that he’d be working with England, he rang me up and asked would I feel comfortable doing it.

“He wasn’t questioning whether I could do the job as a role on its own, it was just a case of juggling coaching and my bowling.

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“But, straightaway, I thought back a couple of years to making the move to Lancs from Durham. And this kind of thing was exactly why I moved.

“My response was, ‘Absolutely, yes, get me in there. I’ll work around the lads to get my overs in’. To be the bowling coach for all the seamers on the professional staff is an honour.

“I know it’s only a five-week block, but it’s a really, really important block to get the lads ready to compete for trophies and to give something back to the members, who have had it tough over the last few months.”

Since moving to Old Trafford ahead of the 2018 summer, the 37-year-old Gateshead native has had a major impact on Lancashire life – both on and off the field.

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As a seam bowler, Onions has taken 102 wickets in 22 County Championship matches at an average of 20.80, significantly better than his already impressive first-class career average of 25.70.

Off the field, he has had a varied range of coaching duties as he explores a potential future career.

“The last three years have been everything I could have asked for,” he said. “It’s been fantastic.”