Onions provides England cover
Graham Onions will travel to the UAE for England's Test series against Pakistan as fast-bowling cover.
Last Updated: 11/12/11 12:48pm
Graham Onions will link up with England's Test squad as fast bowling cover for the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
The Durham seamer, who has not played international cricket for almost two years following a serious back problem, will not be an official squad member but has been asked to travel due to doubts over Stuart Broad (shoulder), Chris Tremlett (back) and Tim Bresnan (elbow).
All three are hopeful of being fit to face Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai on January 17, though Bresnan's rehabilitation programme following surgery to remove a bone fragment makes his the most obvious concern.
"We've obviously got some niggles from the seamer point of view, so Graham Onions will go out there in a cover capacity," national selector Geoff Miller said.
"If he's not required then he'll probably come back after the first Test, or even during it."
Onions was becoming a key part of England's plans following important contributions in the 2009 Ashes and the subsequent winter tour to South Africa, but was sent home from the trip to Bangladesh with what was originally thought to be a minor problem.
The diagnosis got increasingly worse and at one stage his career was in doubt, before he made a successful return to county cricket over the summer.
The selectors have been keen to involve him in the squad since then - he was a squad member for the one-off ODI against Ireland and was also summoned to India for the one-day series in October - but he has yet to make his on-field comeback.