Onions to play for Dolphins

Graham Onions celebrates after removing Narsingh Deonarine AFP

Graham Onions, the England fast bowler, has signed a contract to play for the Dolphins franchise during South Africa's domestic season, outside of his international commitments.

Onions, who most recently played for England in the Edgbaston Test against West Indies last year, could yet be a part of the Ashes touring party to Australia. He has been a regular squad member since returning from a career-threatening back injury in 2011, although has found Test appearances hard to come by.

"I am absolutely delighted to have signed for the Dolphins and am looking forward to play in South Africa which is renowned as having one of the strongest domestic set-ups in the world," Onions said. "My availability will obviously depend upon England selections, but I hope to be able to contribute to a successful campaign for the Dolphins this year."

Onions is among the leading wicket-takers in Division One of the County Championship this season, despite having missed several games for Durham due to involvement with England and, more recently, a broken finger. He currently has 51 wickets at 19.65 from nine Championship appearances.

He has signed to play in all three competitions for the Dolphins. The season begins on October 11 with the one-day tournament, with the first-class Sunfoil series then running from November 21 until early April. The Ram Slam T20 is played during a window in January and February. Should Onions be included in England's Ashes squad, it would likely rule him out from early November until after the fifth Test, which begins on January 3.

Dophins head coach, Lance Klusener, said: "The signing of Graham is a great addition to the Dolphins squad. Graham is an ultimate professional that will bring quality and experience."