Australia news September 25, 2013

Hick takes on Australia coaching role

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graeme Hick, the former England Test batsman, will be set the task of turning around Australia's domestic batting slump as part of his appointment as high performance coach at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane.

Hick has taken the job previously filled by Stuart Law, who in turn has replaced Darren Lehmann as coach of Queensland, and one of his first tasks will involve a batting forum next month in Sydney. At the forum, a range of former Australian cricketers and current coaches will discuss the state of batting in Australia and create a national batting programme that will be implemented by Hick.

Australia's Test batting has been the source of great concern for several years and the lack of young batsmen applying pressure with strong Sheffield Shield summers has contributed to Australia's ongoing batting malaise. Last season, the leading run scorer in the Shield was Ricky Ponting, who is now retired from Test cricket, and the then 35-year-old Chris Rogers was third.

After the end of that Shield season, Hick was given the task of working with Australia's young batsmen to develop their mindsets for playing long innings, and he has now been added to the Centre of Excellence staff full time. Although Hick did not live up to his potential as a Test cricketer, he was an extremely prolific run scorer at first-class level, compiling 136 centuries, eighth on the all-time list.

"Graeme is a highly regarded former international batsman who has been a consultant coach this past winter working with our Australian Institute of Sport scholars," Pat Howard, Cricket Australia's executive general manager of team performance, said. "It is fantastic that we could secure his services full-time.

"His main role will be working with our development teams including Australia A, Under-19 players and those in our current pathway system. He will also provide a dedicated batting resource to all state players and Australian players who come through the Centre of Excellence at any time during the year. He will work closely with the state coaches in this regard.

"Graeme knows what it takes to compete at the top level and has had many years' experience playing in different conditions, which will be vital to the development of our young batters. He will complement the specialist skills with Troy Cooley and Tim Coyle who are responsible for our fast bowling and fielding programs respectively, as well as all national coaching staff in our pathway system including Darren Lehmann.

"One of Graeme's first tasks will be attending a batting forum that CA is running in October in Sydney. The forum will bring together a number for former Australian cricketers and current coaches and will provide information that will feed into the creation of a national batting program that Graeme will be charged with developing and implementing."

Hick, who played 65 Tests for England over a decade-long career, and competed in three Ashes campaigns, said he was pleased to be working with Australia's young batsmen.

"Over the years I have developed a huge amount of respect for Australian cricket and the baggy green," Hick said. "I am excited about the chance to work with Australia's young talent and being able to assist in their growth and development. This is going to be a great challenge for me and one I am really looking forward to."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on September 28, 2013, 12:00 GMT

    Wow so many comments on Hicks average test record, so what has nothing to do with his ability to coach. David Saker was never even close to test selection nor was Ali de Winter but both have been good coaches. Hicks test record has nothing to do with how good a coach he is.

  • Dummy4 on September 27, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    When Hick left Zimbabwe he was undoubtaby the best bastman leaving contemparies Dave Houghton and 2 Flower brothers way behind. When selected after compulsary wait of 5 years for England he ran up against coaching he couldn't relate to and his confidence was destroyed. like many of his Zim contemparies of that vintage he has tremendous insight and it would not surprise me to see him rise right to the top and add a little flair to an over regulated system

  • Colin on September 27, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    @ ruester, if you think averaging 31 over 65 Tests is a success, I'd suggest you either a) celebrate mediocrity or b) do not know anything about cricket.

  • Arnav on September 26, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    Surprising appointment by CA...Australia has great cricketing tradition & history and many batting legends...They should have appointed one of those..Hicks was an ordinary player, plundered runs in county cricket but failed miserably at the international level...On another note, I am sure ,if CA asks nicely, Dravid can consider a move down under and teach the aussies the art of batting and on how to build a test innings...!!! Since Dennis Lillee taught Indian bowlers how to bowl fast , its time India returns the favour by sending Dravid !!!!

  • Rue on September 26, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    How can you call a player who played over 100 ODI's and 65 test matches a failure? I would take that career thank you.

  • Brady on September 26, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Good luck Graeme Hick in helping all our young lefties unlearn that horrible angled-bat off-side drive that Langer taught them.

  • R on September 26, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    There really aren't any decent Australian batsmen of Hick's generation who know what its like to play long innings at test level and be part of a winning team? I'm scratching my head but can't think of any... Oh wait a minute.

  • Dummy4 on September 25, 2013, 23:48 GMT

    Hick has better international credentials than Stuart Law, who he is replacing, and 64000 runs and at a very good average, despite playing into his forties is enormous. A good choice.

  • Steve on September 25, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    While not detracting choosing Hick, who was a fine player for Eng, I don't know why Aussie board didn't appoint a capable Australian coach that understands and promotes the true aggressive Aussie attitude to the batting. I am sure there are tons of highly successful batsmen who can fill this role. Still, all the best to Hick in his new role.

  • W on September 25, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Well, he scored a truck load of first class runs and is now a very experienced coach. Good appointment.