Hick calls it a day
Former England batsman to hang up his bat at the end of the campaign
Last Updated: 02/09/08 7:11pm
Veteran batsman Graeme Hick says that he will retire from cricket at the end of the season.
Hick has enjoyed a prolific County Championship career with Worcestershire and has scored 136 first-class centuries.
The 42-year-old last played for England in March 2001 but on the county scene he continued to be a potent force with the bat despite his advancing years.
After making his debut in 1983 Hick scored a total of 41,112 runs in 526 matches with an average of 52.23.
"I felt it was right to finish. I had a feeling at the start of the year that it was going to be my last year.
"I just wanted to wait until a bit later in the year just to make sure it was the right decision. I think there are guys in the dressing room who need to start playing first-team cricket and my time is up.
"A few weeks ago I was sitting at Cheltenham during the four-day game and I felt it was time to go."
Hick insisted: "It is not a physical thing. I have got this problem with my elbow at the moment which has come on from the keyhole surgery I had early in the season.
"Surprisingly, after the back injuries in the mid-1990s, in the last few years I've felt better than during that period. I don't why. Maybe the body got hardened to it more and I've trained a lot over the years.
"It is not a physical choice at the moment but, from how my body feels, it will have been harder to get through a full season next year and I felt I wouldn't want to start the year and pack up halfway through the season.
"I felt it was the right time. It was an emotional decision."
As for the future, Hick said: "I've had my first job offer today. Someone asked me if I wanted to play Minor Counties Cricket next season. I wasn't sure if they were being serious. I chuckled and moved on.
"Would I be interested in the ICL? Now I've retired, that is an opportunity that may open up. That may be an avenue I will look to pursue. I am not sure as yet.
"Have I had any offers (from the ICL)? I think just about everyone over 30 in English cricket has. We will wait and see. It is something I may pursue."
When asked what Worcestershire had meant to him, an increasingly emotional Hick said: "I can't put that into words now."
He was clearly close to tears as he left the media conference and headed straight to his car to depart the New Road ground.