Graham Onions’ outside hopes of being selected to face Australia in the Ashes later this year have been dashed by the news that he faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a back problem.
Onions made his England Test debut last year and starred by taking five wickets at Lord’s against the West Indies, while also performing impressively with both bat and ball in last summer’s Ashes win on home soil.
However, the Durham seamer will definitely not be a member of the squad travelling to Australia as he prepares for surgery to cure stress fractures on both sides of his back and in total he could be out for up to nine months.
He said: “I’m shattered to have been ruled out of the Ashes. After experiencing the euphoria of being part of an Ashes winning England team last year I was determined to get myself fit for selection.
“We have tried every possible form of treatment, but surgery is the only option left. I realise I have to have this operation if I want to play cricket again.”
Onions has been out of action since January and was selected as part of the England party to tour Bangladesh in March, but had to return home early without bowling a ball because of the problem.
Australia have won the last five Ashes series’ on their own patch and are 8/13 to do so again when the next showdown gets underway on November 25th in Brisbane at The Gabba.
England have not managed to win more than one Test in any of these five series’ and will need to improve upon this record if they are to defy odds of 9/4 to defend the victory they scooped last year.
The last time the Ashes was drawn was in England in 1972, it is 5/1 to finish all-square this year. See the whole Australia vs England Ashes market.