Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

Question And Answer Session With County Legend Graeme Hick

Question And Answer Session With County Legend Graeme Hick

The Worcestershire CCC official website caught up with County legend Graeme Hick before today's ODI between Australia Under-19s and England Under-19s at New Road and sought his views on coming back to New Road and his life and role in Australia amongst other topics.

Question: Is this the first time you've been back to New Road in a working capacity?

Graeme Hick: "Certainly in a working capacity. It's been good. We started off the tour at Durham and worked our way down the country. As we've been working our way down towards New Road, the boys and the backroom staff have been giving me a bit of stick about coming back.

"I've been really looking forward to coming here and it was nice walking out on yesterday morning for practice and seeing the ground look so good. It's a special place."

Question: I bet it brings back a lot of memories?

Graeme Hick: "I wish I could remember them all. It's prettyv obvious what it means, spending all that time here. I played some good cricket but also the people I've been lucky enough to meet and count as friends and the people who support the club. It's great."

Question: What did it feel like going into your 'own' pavilion?

Graeme Hick: "I've been here before but the boys have been googling it and I've had a bit of stick. It is a special place to me and maybe the boys will go away, maybe knowing a little bit more about me."

Question: You emigrated in 2011 to Australia. Did you go there with the thought of going into coaching?

Graeme Hick: "I started doing some coaching in grade cricket and a couple of other things around cricket. I suppose there was the domino effect of Darren Lehmann taking over the Australian job. Stuart Law moved into the Queensland job and his role, which was this role, came up.

"I'd been doing a bit of work up at the National Centre in Brisbane and put my name in the hat when they were looking for a replacement and luckily my name came out last."

Question: Did you have any concrete plans when you went to Australia?

Graeme Hick: "No, I had nothing. I played golf the first few months we were there and did a few bits and pieces based around cricket, not a lot. As a family, we gave ourselves two years to see if we could settle in which would finish (son) Jordan's education.

"We made a deal that if we were all happy, we would stay, if one of us wasn't, we'd come back. I'm really enjoying this role I am doing within cricket and very fortunate."

Question: It is an important role. You are in charge of some of the next kids on the rank for Australia?

Graeme Hick: "These kids will vary between being two to five years away. Sometimes one might come through that will get there quicker. You do feel you are responsible for the future of the young players that are coming through.

"You want to do a good job and try and give them a good sounding and understanding of what cricket is going to be like as they move through the grades and how tough it is going to be.

"We've got a good backroom staff. The lads are taught about nutrition, strength and conditioning, sleeping patterns. They are certainly fed a lot of information and the ones who want to do it will buy into it – and those who don't, will slowly fall by the wayside."

Question: You always put a lot of accent on fitness as a player?

Graeme Hick: "Someone got me into it early on and explained how important it was, an international rugby player, and I bought into that and trained really hard with him for a winter and really enjoyed it and from there understood the benefits of it, how good I felt and how much it helped me."

Question: Do you still keep in touch with Worcestershire's progress?

Graeme Hick: "That is the great thing with the internet and there are not many days when I don't have a quick look at the scores and who is doing what. I follow the guys I played with although there are not many left now! "

Question: You would know Ed Barnard and Joe Clarke from their time with England Under-19s?

Graeme Hick: "Obviously Barnard has bowled at us – and bowled well. I don't know much about Joe Clarke but people have been mentioning his name to me around the counties and mentioning what a good job Rhodesy is doing in developing some good young players."

Question: Nice if get those glory days came back at New Road you were involved in?

Graeme Hick: "Worcestershire is a small county that has always punched above its weight since we had those glory years. The club has always put that as its benchmark and strived to continue that.

"That is the legacy left by people like Ian Botham and Graham Dilley joining and taking us to that level and you want to keep that going. Rhodesy was part of that so he would love to build something like that now.

"The difficulty I suppose is holding onto players but if you are a young, talented kid and you are getting an opportunity, then you wonder is there any need to move. "

Question: Do you ever miss those times at Worcestershire?

Graeme Hick: "Your life is built into different periods. You go through your school career, this was another chapter of my life and it is sort of locked in the memory.

"I do enjoy coming back and there are lots of people I know when I come back and it's good fun catching up. But we made the decision to move and we are enjoying that side of our life now. Life is split up into different chapters."

Question: How is the golf handicap?

Graeme Hick: "It could be a little bit better! My driver is a little bit wayward as always. I think I have to try and not hit it so hard. I'm still enjoying it. I'm playing okay."