Graham Onions has taken 27 wickets at an average of 23.11 in seven Division Two matches this season

Seam bowler Graham Onions will leave Durham at end of the 2017 season after failing to agree a new contract.

Onions, 35, decided not to accept a contract extension with the club, for whom he has played since 2004.

The parties could not agree a two-year deal whereby the second year is dependent on Onions avoiding injury.

The ex-England seamer is Durham’s leading all-time wicket-taker, having overtaken Simon Brown’s record of 518 first-class wickets on 8 September.

“It has been the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I genuinely love Durham and had hoped to finish my career here,” said Onions.

“Unfortunately, we were unable to agree on the length of contract and there doesn’t appear to be any guaranteed opportunities for a coaching role in the future.

“So, with a heavy heart I have to leave Durham to ensure a more secure future for my family.”

BBC Newcastle reports Onions wanted a contract to take him through to retirement at his home county and would only leave as a last resort.

But having suffered a number of back problems in recent years, including a three-month lay-off earlier this season, Durham decided they could not agree a straight two-year deal and have no coaching role to offer him.

He helped Durham win the County Championship in 2008, 2009 and 2013 and the One-Day Cup in 2014, while he claimed 32 wickets in nine Tests for England between 2009 and 2012.


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