Former England Test player Graeme Hick has been named as the Australian cricket team's new batting coach on a four-year deal.
Hick is the last piece of the Australian team's Bupa Support Team puzzle, following the appointment of David Saker as an Assistant Coach, with a focus on the bowling group. The appointments come following the departures earlier this year of Craig McDermott and Michael Di Venuto.
Hick is elevated to the role from CA's High Performance Coach, based at Brisbane's Bupa National Cricket centre, a role he had held since 2013. His contract with the senior men's team runs through to March 2020.
Hick played 65 Tests and 120 one-day internationals for England between 1991 and 2001, scoring 3,383 runs at 31.32, with six centuries and a highest score of 178, coming against India in Mumbai in February 1993.
He played 526 first-class matches in total, scoring 136 centuries at an average of 52.23.The Zimbabwe-born batsman scored 41,112 first-class runs in a 25-year career, and 22,059 runs in 50-over cricket. He also scored 1,201 runs in Twenty20 matches. The pavillion at Worcestershire, where he played his county cricket, is now named in his honour.
Hick, who played 10 Ashes Tests for England, took Australian citizenship last month.
Bupa Support Team Head Coach Darren Lehmann said it was fantastic to have a former player of Hick's calibre on board.
“Graeme worked with us during the recent ODI tour in the West Indies and we were really impressed with what he brought to the group," Lehmann said in a statement.
“He is a very experienced player in all conditions and will bring a wealth of knowledge with him.
“With an ICC Champions Trophy, an Ashes Series and an ICC World Cup all to be played in England in the near future, his knowledge of those conditions will also be invaluable.”
Hick said it was a huge privilege to be involved with the Australian men’s team.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my current role with Cricket Australia and have worked with some great young up and coming players during my time heading-up the Under-19 program and more recently with the National Performance Squad during the Quadrangular A ODI Series," Hick said.
“To take the next step up with the men’s team and getting the opportunity to work with some of the best players in the world is something I am really looking forward to.”
Greg Blewett will return to his role as Bupa Support Team Fielding Coach after filling in as batting coach following the departure of Di Venuto who took up a role as head coach of English county side Surrey in March.
Hick will take up his role at the start of the Australian summer with the Commonwealth Bank Test Series against South Africa, which begins in 49 days' time with the first Test at the WACA.