Hick - I lacked hard edge
Graeme Hick admits he did not have the 'cut-throat edge' required to succeed in Test cricket.
Last Updated: 16/09/08 12:43pm
Graeme Hick admits he did not possess the 'cut-throat edge' required to succeed in Test cricket.
Hick, 42, is hanging up his pads at the end of the summer after 25 run-filled seasons with Worcestershire.
The Zimbabwe-born batsman served a seven-year qualification period in county cricket before becoming eligible to play for England.
And although he made 65 Test appearances in the 10 years from 1991-2001, an average of 31.32 and just six centuries tells a story of underachievement on the biggest stage.
That record stands in stark contrast to a more recent English convert from southern Africa, the current skipper Kevin Pietersen.
Hick attributes Pietersen's success to a confident attitude, again a marked contrast with his own more modest demeanour.
"He has that hard-edged belief," Hick told Guardian.co.uk. "It is arrogance but maybe that's what you need at the highest level?
"But Pietersen is wonderfully entertaining - anyone who loves cricket would say he's the guy you would pay to watch batting."
On his own struggles in the Test arena, Hick added: "I came from a country (Zimbabwe) where we had no professional sport and so I had a naive philosophy.
"I saw it as a game that should be enjoyed. I never had that cut-throat edge. Maybe that's why I sometimes fell short."
Hick also believes his treatment by the England selectors hampered his international career.
"The middle part of my career with England was difficult to take," he said.
"I had taken my average of 19 over those first two years up to the early 40s but it always seemed to be me who got dropped."
Hick failed to score a century in 10 Ashes Tests, although he was infamously denied three figures when Mike Atherton stranded him on 98 not out by declaring England's second innings in Sydney on the 1994-5 tour.
"Individual moments also hurt," he continued. "Obviously the 98 not out in Sydney got to me.
"I admire Athers enormously but I remember [Australia's wicketkeeper] Ian Healy laughing when they walked off.
"But Healy turned back, because we'd played together at Queensland, and he said, 'Well played and real bad luck - we'll have a beer about it one day.'
"I realised the Aussies had been laughing because they thought we'd cocked it up again."