Graham Hick has just retired from first class cricket. In a remarkable career he made 136 first-class centuries and averaged over 50 (52.23). He is also one of a select few players who have made single, double, triple and quadruple centuries in first class cricket. In addition, he was a dominating one day player making a further 40 one-day centuries, five of which were made whilst playing for England. Graham had a difficult entry into Test cricket, it took him more than a year to make a half century and his reputation is such that most people consider his Test career disappointing. Interestingly, for someone who had such a slow start to his career Graham’s figures after 19 matches are almost identical to Michael Vaughan’s. After 19 matches Hick had made 1091 runs at 33.06 with one century whilst Vaughan had made 1095 runs at 36.50 with two centuries. The graph below shows that he had a more prolific spell in the middle of his career before tailing off in a long decline.
Michael Atherton famously declared England’s innings closed at Sydney with Hick on 98 not out. It is commonly believed that this event undermined Hick’s confidence and led to his decline in Test cricket. The graph below suggests it is not that simple with his average high point occurring after that innings. It must have had some effect though and interestingly I have heard Michael on TV saying that in hindsight he wished he had not declared.
Whatever people believe about Graham’s Test career one thing is certain; his first class figures are remarkable. He must surely go down in history as one of the best county players of his generation.
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