Pacer Onions out of Ashes series due to back surgery

London: England fast bowler Graham Onions has been ruled out of the forthcoming Ashes series against Australia after being told that he will have to undergo surgery to fix a back problem.

The 27-year-old Durham bowler, who was one of Wisden’s cricketers of the year in 2009, has been plagued by a stress fracture and faces surgery next week, The Sun reports.

“Obviously I’m shattered to miss the Ashes with the prospect of a lengthy recovery period. I’m devastated with such a long lay-off, but determined to overcome this,” Onions was quoted, as saying.

Onions made a superb start to his Test career in 2009, taking five wickets on his debut against the West Indies at Lord’s.

He also played significant roles both with the ball and as an obdurate tailender in last summer’s Ashes series win, then again in the drawn series in South Africa the following winter.

But Onions suffered a back injury on the tour of Bangladesh and has been beset by problems since.

Onions, who turns 28 this month, said: “It’s been a difficult period for me, but I realize that I have to have this operation if I want to play cricket again. I’m going to make sure I get back bowling again next year and work my way back into England calculations.”