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29th April 2009

I’m ready for the challenge says Onions

Graham was contacted by England Selector Geoff Miller this morning (Wednesday) and was obviously delighted by the call, “I got the call at about 7.30 this morning and was trying to be as quiet as possible because I didn’t want to wake Phil [Mustard] who I was sharing with!  Straight away I rang my mam and dad and my girlfriend, Emma, to tell them the good news.  Obviously they were over the moon.  It’s unbelievable times for me and my family.  I feel good and I’m ready for the challenge”, said Onions.

“Every day I go onto the field and learn, it’s going to be a very steep learning curve.  With the likes of Pietersen and Strauss and new coach Andy Flower, it’s a great time and it’s going to be exciting.  I’ve worked hard in the winter and it’s something I can’t wait to get on with.”

“I class myself now as a more experienced and better bowler really.  Being in the one day squad meant a lot but this time it’s something more special  and to be involved in the Test Match squad is great with some of the best players in the world.   It means a lot to me and I’m keeping my fingers crossed to play really. 

“One of the first things that came into my mind is that it would be great to play at Lord’s for England.  I’ve played there three or four times for Durham and the MCC so to play at Lord’s for England would be the pinnacle.  I couldn’t wait to tell my parents that there’s also a chance that I could play for England at Riverside – that would obviously be something really special”, he added.

There had been whispers in the days leading up to the announcement that Onions could be included in the squad, “You read  a lot in the papers and they’d said that I could be involved and I didn’t really want to believe them because I wanted to keep my feet on the ground”, said Onions.

In joining up with the England squad he not only hooks up with Durham teammate Paul Collingwood but also former player Ottis Gibson, England’s bowling coach, “Ottis was a great bowler at Durham and is a great friend, so I’m looking forward to joining up with him and learning some tricks of the trade”, Onions commented.

“It’s every young person’s dream to play for England and I feel like I’m moving towards the next stage.  I didn’t realise until the last year, after coming back from injury, exactly how if you really put your mind to it, what you can actually do.
“I’ve had lots of messages of congratulations but now the hard work really starts.  It’s a very exciting time and I can’t wait to get going”, finished Onions.