Graeme Hick

Born and raised in Rhodesia, which gained official independence as Zimbabwe in 1980, Graeme Hick was considered promising enough to be selected for the Zimbabwe squad for the 1983 Cricket World Cup at the age of 17, while still at school. He did not play in that tournament, but made his first-class debut for a Young Zimbabwe against Young West Indies at Harare in October that year.

In 1984, Hick joined Worcestershire on a Zimbabwe Cricket Union scholarship and made his first-class debut in Britain in the final County Championship match of the season, against Surrey at Kennington Oval, London. He did not bat in the first innings but, batting at number nine, contributed 82 not out to a total of 327 in the second innings.

Having already played international cricket for Zimbabwe, Hick had to wait the mandatory seven-year qualifying period before being eligible to play Test cricket for England. By the time he made his Test debut, against West Indies at Headingley in June, 1991, he had already made a huge impact in county cricket. Indeed, he came to the crease with 57 first-class centuries to his name, including a County Championship record 405 not out against Somerset at Taunton in May, 1988.

His Test debut, although eagerly-awaited, proved to be an anti-climax. He was caught at the wicket off the bowling of Courtney Walsh for just six in the first innings and clean bowled by Curtley Ambrose for the same score in the second. Of course, Hick went on to enjoy a long, illustrious career during which he scored over 40,000 first-class runs, including 136 centuries, at an average of 52.53. However, his 65 Test matches yielded just 3,383 runs which, while not exactly a paltry total, represents an average of 31.32, or an underachievement when compared to his first-class record as a whole.

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