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
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Ghosts of past cast a massive shadow
Mayweather-Pacquiao: Ricky Hatton, Mike Tyson, Ronda Rousey and more make their predictions
Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
Kyle Walker video: Tottenham defender categorically denies 'disgusting' rumours on Facebook
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£65K - £75K (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Creative Director...
£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: You will need to be able to follow instr...
£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global wholesaler and reta...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This organization is one of the founding names...