LANCASHIRE has confirmed the appointment of former player and England international Graham Onions as full-time bowling coach.

The 38-year-old retired from professional cricket last season on medical grounds, but returns to Emirates Old Trafford to work with the county’s bowlers on a full-time basis.

In his new role, Onions will offer specialist bowling support and coaching to the First XI and Second XI bowling contingent as well as supporting Academy and age-group prospects.

Onions, who is an ECB Level 4 qualified coach, took on coaching responsibilities with the Academy upon joining the Red Rose ahead of the 2018 season.

Under his and head coach Glen Chapple’s guidance, several seam bowlers have gone on to make their First-Class debuts for Lancashire. Four of those - George Balderson, Tom Hartley, George Burrows and Ed Moulton - appeared in last season’s Bob Willis Trophy.

A stalwart of the English domestic county game, Onions took 723 First-Class wickets and appeared in 13 internationals for England, nine of which were Test matches.

For Lancashire, he took 104 First-Class wickets in just 23 matches at an average of little over 20.

During the run-up to Christmas, Onions continued to work with the Lancashire’s professional and Academy squad alongside coaching duties with junior players at Scarborough College.

Speaking about his appointment, Onions said: “I am thrilled to get the opportunity to stay at Lancashire as bowling coach and work with one of the most talented bowling attacks in county cricket.

“The depth of talent in the Lancashire system is immense. Competition for places in the current First XI squad is fierce and there is no shortage of talent coming through the Academy pathway; I have been lucky to see that first hand in my coaching role over the last three years.

“Seeing players you have worked with progress, improve and ultimately perform for the First XI is as good as any feeling as I had during my playing days. I was lucky to experience that last summer with a few lads in their debut seasons and I hope I can help even more bowlers contribute to success for the Red Rose over the coming years.

“Emirates Old Trafford feels like a second home to me. The number of messages I received from Members and supporters after my retirement blew me away and I am proud to start my journey into full-time coaching with Lancashire.”

Lancashire’s director of cricket, Paul Allott, said: “Graham is a universally popular and respected figure within the game, and we are delighted he will continue his association with the Club.

“His talent on the field was undoubted, but we were all incredibly impressed with the impact he had in a coaching capacity during the shortened 2020 season, particularly when Glen Chapple was away with England in the early stages. A number of young bowlers fitted seamlessly into First-Class cricket and that is in no small part down to 'Bunny', who has worked with them all over the last couple of years.

“He also holds a Level 4 coaching certificate, the highest level offered by the ECB, and the opportunity to bring a coach on board who can combine that with his extensive level of playing experience does not come around often.

“Alongside Glen and Mark Chilton, Graham’s addition means we have over 1,400 games of professional cricketing experience in our coaching staff to aid the development of our players, build upon the promising performances of the last few years and help us compete for trophies.”