English cricket September 3, 2008

The run machine calls time


For more than two decades now, Graeme Hick has tormented county attacks all across England. On his retirement, the tributes are led by the Independent's Angus Fraser and the Telegraph's Derek Pringle, two bowlers who have first-hand experience of Hick's batting expertise. And in the Guardian, David Foot recalls one of Hick's totemic innings - the unbeaten 405 in 1988 - and wonders how Hick turned out to be a relative failure on the international stage.

Those of us privileged to watch him in his best years have marvelled at the risible ease with which he has played the game. At country level, he has made so many contemporaries look ordinary. His bat was broader than anyone else's. Nothing seemed to get past it. There was always a respect for orthodoxy; with an hypnotic efficiency he took on the bowlers in rotation. The strokes were always clean. For a big man, he was imposing rather than handsome in execution.

George Dobell writes in the Birmingham Post:

His reputation is impeccable; his record immaculate. He has been a credit to his family, his club and his sport. No cricketer can achieve more.