Graeme Hick retires

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Graeme Hick let everyone down by not being superhuman OR some kind of deityWe learnt a lot through Graeme Hick. We learnt that nothing’s preordained. We learnt that heroes can let you down. We learnt that huge talent isn’t the sole ingredient for Test success and we learnt that if you mess about dropping and reselecting players it doesn’t help them one bit.

If you’re a bit too young to know all that much about Graeme Hick, during the period that he was qualifying for England he was quite plainly the best batsman in the country and quite possibly the best for several generations. At the time he qualified, he was 25 and he’d hit 57 first-class hundreds with a top score of 405 not out. Michael Vaughan’s 33 and he’s still only scored 42 first-class hundreds. Andrew Strauss is 31 and has 26.

In his first two Test matches, Hick made six, six and nought and never looked back.

Actually, that’s grossly unfair. For three years he averaged over 45 in Tests, back when that was actually quite meaningful, but after such a colossal initial disappointment, he could never win people back round.

We used to be mental about Graeme Hick. We believed he’d be better than Viv Richards for a long time after it was clear that was never going to happen. We’d check his average for every Test series. If it was above 40, it was proof. If it was below, we’d look forward to the next series. Hope was more important than facts during the Nineties.

Graeme Hick, despite his barely-even-mediocre overall Test record, has been an exceptional cricketer. It’s not hotly-contested, but he’d get into England’s best ever one-day side and he’s scored so many first-class runs it’s not even comprehensible.

A thousand runs in a season is considered ‘successful’. Graeme Hick has hit 41,112 first-class runs. Just think about that. He’s hit 136 centures and 158 fifties. He averages 52.

We don’t know how he’d know, but Steve Waugh thought Hick was the best 18 year-old in the history of cricket. Hick couldn’t maintain that level of overachievement, but he still ends his career a phenomenon.


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  1. I saw Hick and Moody batting together at OT years ago. They spent an enjoyable afternoon trying to smash the press box windows.

    Gary Yates and Mike Watkinson didn’t think much of it though.

  2. Week of 1-7 June 1991 Miriam.

    I can read Kingcricket as it is clean and wholesome – but Kirklees DC won’t let me read the filth that is cwb or of course suave’s republique

  3. It’s true, KC. For some reason my work firewall has no problem with you at all, whereas it takes a long hard look at not just CWB but also the baby animals on Hence you are officially more wholesome and less contraversial than kittens.

  4. ‘King Cricket: less controversial than kittens.’

    It’s what we’ve always strived for…

  5. My most recent memory of Hick was a couple of years ago, when I got the chance to see him play at my club in a charity match. Having practiced my lines and delivered them perfectly to everyone around me, I finally drew up the courage to walk up to my childhood God and tell him how much he meant to me. I tapped him on the shoulder… and absolutely panicked. My legs disappeared under me, I stuttered and stumbled and barely said a word.

    The great man looked at me bemused, but surely he could see a hint of what I did – a faint reflection.

  6. I always thought that Graeme Hick looked a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least from the neck up. He also looked a bit like my mate Phil.

    Bizarrely, I’d never describe Phil as looking anything like Arnie.

    How good could it have been if Hick and Ramps had been managed better by the England setup, and allowed to blossom in the middle order?


  7. In the pre-internet days of the late 1980s I’d get a paper and scan the cricket scores to see, first, how Hick had done. And it was shocking how often he had delivered. Now it’s often Ramprakash I look for first, and then Hick.

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