Graeme Hick confessed he has had to put a "brave face" on being dropped from the team for the Colombo Test. But Hick put the feelings of disappointment behind him and answered the critics in the best possible way, with a devastating century against a strong Board President's XI today.
Hick struck seven sixes, moving from 50 to 100 in just 17 balls, in an awesome display of hitting against a side that included eight players with international experience, venting the frustration of the past weeks as he did so.
Hick: Brave facePhoto © AFP
"I was very disappointed to miss out on the Test match because all through the winter I've been quite happy with the way I've been hitting the ball in the nets," Hick explained afterwards, "but if you can't take that out in the middle then it doesn't mean anything."
"I enjoyed today because it gave me the chance to get in and spend some time at the crease. I've been getting out early in the Test matches and didn't really have a chance to get in."
It was Michael Vaughan who won Hick's place in the Test side, but far from displaying any resentment or jealousy, the Worcestershire man was typically gracious in praise of Vaughan: "Nobody ever wants to miss out but the decision was made and I missed out," he said. "It's a team game, I'm very much a team player and I was pleased for all the guys out there, Michael Vaughan included."
Hick spoke of the inner turmoil he has endured in the past week, but illustrated his worth as a team player by refusing to let his own misfortune effect the spirit in the dressing room.
"I had a lot of time during the Test to sit around and think about things, but I also had a job to do being 12th man and help the chaps in that way," he continued. "I put a brave face on, kept smiling and in the mean-time things were churning-up inside me."
He also reiterated his determination to look to the future, and expressed the hope that he could win a Test place back.
"What happened in the Test is still on my mind, but this is a totally different game and what's ahead of us next week; you switch off from what's gone and turn on to what's ahead of you.
"I play my cricket believing I can always play at this level. I'll start the summer off again and there are certain things I would like to work on and if I get a volume of runs, we will have to wait and see what the selectors think."