Home > Features > Interviews >

Australia Under-19 coach Graeme Hick: We try to create good environment for players

Graeme Hick © Getty Images
Graeme Hick is also performing the role of being a mentor to Australian Under-19 setup © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Former England cricketer, Graeme Hick has now moved all the way to Australia to don the hat of coaching and mentoring role. One of the most prolific batsmen in county cricket, Hick now is a High Performance Coach in Australia and is currently in charge of their side at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014. In an exclusive chat with CricketCountry, Hick talks about his move to Australia, his approach to coaching youngsters and much more.

Excerpts from the interview:

CricketCountry (CC): Having played for so long, how difficult was your transition into a coaching role?

Graeme Hick (GH): I had retired nearly five years ago, so the playing side was well out of my system. I started doing a bit of coaching at the national centre. I sort of slowly got into the role. I am fortunate to be given this job of looking after the Under-19s and helping out at the [High Performance] Centre.

CC: But, how did the move to Australia come about? Moving all the way from England…

GH: As a family, we thought we wanted to make a lifestyle change. We have been very fortunate over the years to travel all around world. We also spent six months in Brisbane in 1991. We decided we wanted to try something different, so we packed out bags and moved to Australia.

 

CC: In your younger days, you moved from Zimbabwe to England. That could have helped you adjust here as well…

GH: Yes, I suppose. I’ve got a wife and two kids — who are 18 and 21 now. No problems in moving young kids and we are lucky they have settled down very well. It was tough emotionally, as my wife left her family in England. But, they’ve been to Australia a few times, and enjoyed their visits.

CC: And now travelling has become a part of modern day cricket coaching…

GH: Yes. There are coaches who have coached national teams other than their own. That has changed and the game is also moving forward especially, since the advent of Twenty20 [T20] cricket. Every game develops and moves on. The boundaries are there to be challenged and players always challenge them.

CC: How difficult is it for you as you can only watch when the game goes on instead of being involved in the action in the middle?

GH: It is different. Especially when they are batting, they are 19-year-olds, and you feel they are going a bit hard or should be playing a bit safer or taking different options. You’d like to think that if you were out there, you’d be doing those. But, I am sure as a 19-year-old kid, I also made mistakes. It is a good age for them to learn and the quicker they learn from mistakes, the better it is.

CC: How much of your role is about being a mentor?

GH: Yes, very much so. I met them really for the first time at the airport. It is a new role for me as well. It would be unfair of me to come in, having not seen them play that much, to try and change things. So, we’ve just tried to provide a good environment and a happy dressing room for them to play their cricket, so that they express themselves. Along the way, throw questions at them, so that they can think for themselves and see whether they are making the right or wrong decision.

CC: Australia suffered a setback by losing to Australia, but since then this team has gelled well. What did you as a coach to turn things around?

GH: We played okay in the first game. Afghanistan outplayed us that day. To be honest, I didn’t have to say much to the group. They realised they had messed up, they didn’t play the game they were capable of. They were disappointed of themselves and they didn’t need much to get up for the next challenge. They put in a good performance against Bangladesh that got them through. That was a crucial win for us.

CC: Are you happy with the quarter-final victory? West Indies were 70 for eight and then Nicolas Pooran took it all the way to 208.

GH: Of course, I am very happy with the performance. It was one of the best innings you’ll see in Under-19 cricket. He was very composed at the crease, his shot selection and to bat through right till the end was a tremendous effort on his part. Obviously, you feel a little bit frustrated that you let them get 200. But, seldom do you actually run through a team and bowl them out, especially a quality team like the West Indies. There is always a partnership somewhere. I would have been disappointed had we given them a couple of lives, dropped chances etc. But, he played beautifully and sometimes you’ve got to accept that. We were fortunate that they got about 200 and on that wicket, we were confident that as long as we didn’t get bowled out, we’d chase that down.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 10, 2014  at Dubai

Australia won by 5 wkts

Photos

India vs West Indies 4th ODI at Dharamsala

Videos

Pakistan A vs Australia, Day 4: Highlights

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Virat Kohli takes wicket with the first (0th?) ball of his T20I career

Kevin Pietersen’s autobiography — a litany of complaints with a few redeeming patches

Banning West Indian players in IPL can affect the ‘Brand value’ of the event – Will BCCI take this gamble?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan 2014 BCCI India India vs West Indies India vs West Indies 2014 Pakistan Salaam Cricket South Africa West Indies West Indies cancel India tour 2014 West Indies tour of India 2014 West Indies vs India West Indies vs India 2014

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Peter Siddle says putting on weight helped to regain speed

South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014: Visitors eying No.1 spot in ICC ODI rankings

New Zealand vs South Africa, 1st ODI at Mount Maunganui Preview: South Africa aim to improve record at NZ

BCCI Working Committee meets tomorrow to discuss WI pullout

West Indies continue hunt for head coach

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

New Zealand begin ICC World Cup 2015 preparations with 15 ODIs in store

Virender Sehwag paid birthday tribute to by Sophos Antivirus

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: 5 memorable matches

Yasir Shah: The new spinning sensation for Pakistan

Fan of the Day

Gautam Singh

Gautam Singh

474 Posts | 5 Fans

Video Highlights Mohammed Yousuf drops catch after watching a girl in bikini

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Peter Siddle says putting on weight helped to regain speed

Ghar Wali Diwali: Pepsi India’s Diwali video is heart touching

Facebook doubles reward in its bug bounty program

जापान : शैंपू के लिए क्लींसिंग एजेंट बनाने के लिए शैवाल का उपयोग

Causes for itchy hands and feet, especially at night

Xiaomi Redmi 1S to go on sale for the seventh time on Flipkart tomorrow, up to 100,000 units up for grabs

Kumkum Bhagya: Shabbir Ahluwalia aka Abhi’s girlfriend gets replaced

Virender Sehwag birthday special: 7 records held by Nawab of Najafgarh

Virender Sehwag turns 36: Five most memorable innings of the Nawab of Najafgarh

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here