England's Graeme Hick to help Australia's flagging batsmen

SYDNEY: Former England batsman Graeme Hick was Wednesday named high performance coach at Cricket Australia's Centre of Excellence, tasked with developing the next generation of scorers and turning around the side's recent batting malaise.
Hick, 47, replaced former Australian Test player Stuart Law who became head coach at Queensland Cricket after Darren Lehmann left the position in June to become Australia's national coach.
“Graeme knows what it takes to compete at the top level and has had many years' experience playing in different conditions, which will be vital to the development of our young batters,” said Cricket Australia's Pat Howard.
“His main role will be working with our development teams including Australia A, Under 19 players and those in our current pathway system,” said Howard, who is executive general manager team performance.
One of the first tasks for Hick will be attending a Cricket Australia batting forum in Sydney next month.
“The forum will bring together a number for former Australian cricketers and current coaches and will provide information that will feed into the creation of a national batting programme that Graeme will be charged with developing and implementing,” said Howard.
Australia's performance in the recent five-match Ashes series in England, won by England 3-0, highlighted their susceptibility to top-order collapses, including one in Durham which saw Australia lose the fourth Test by 74 runs.
Hick, who retired from first-class cricket in 2008 with 136 centuries and 41,112 first-class runs, said he had developed a “huge amount of respect for Australian cricket” over the years.
“I am excited about the chance to work with Australia's young talent and being able to assist in their growth and development,” said Hick who played for Zimbabwe before moving to England where he played 65 Tests.
“This is going to be a great challenge for me and one I am really looking forward to.”
The Centre of Excellence is based in Brisbane.

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