Cricket: Call for Hick signals concern
Monday 16 November 1998
Atherton is still regarded as England's most influential player Down Under despite stepping down as captain last winter and speculation about the extent of his injury began when he did not take the field during the Queensland innings in the current warm-up game.
Both the England coach, David Lloyd, and the physio, Wayne Morton, attempted to make light of the complaint, but admitted it was "a worry" with the first Test imminent. Hick was contacted promptly and will join the rest of the squad in Brisbane on Wednesday.
The surprise phone call from the chairman of selectors, David Graveney, represents the latest in a long line of second chances for the prolific but enigmatic Worcestershire batsman. He was placed on standby for the Ashes tour after narrowly missing out to John Crawley in the selection for the 17-man party.
Hick, who scored a century against Sri Lanka on his last Test appearance in August, said: "Although as stand-by I knew something like this could happen, the call came as a surprise, but a nice one all the same.
"I know I'm going out as cover just in case any other injury doubts crop up and at the moment I don't know how long I'll be with the squad. But however long I'm there, it will be nicer practising outdoors than in the cold of an English winter."
But the speed of the call to Worcester indicates the need of the selectors to provide an insurance policy for their most respected and feared batsman - even if Graveney attempted to shrug off the importance.
"Michael's back condition is well-documented and there is no suggestion at this stage that he will be forced out of the tour through injury," he said.
Atherton faces early exit,
Latest in Sport
Danny Ings: Liverpool target wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach... who could get Burnley striker for just £260,000
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Zab Judah denies flooring Mayweather during sparring as he prepares for 2 May
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...