Cricket: Hick backed by Gooch

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The Independent Online
Graeme Hick, cast aside by England, has received some pre-Christmas cheer by being tipped to return to the international fold by the England selector, Graham Gooch.

Hick was overlooked for the winter tours of Zimbabwe and New Zealand, and recently came in for strong criticism from the former England chairman of selectors, Ray Illingworth.

However, Gooch, one of the favourites to replace Illingworth, said people writing off Hick's Test career were being "foolish". Gooch said: "Nobody has an automatic right to be chosen for England, and just because Graeme has not made it on to the winter tours doesn't mean that is the end of things for him England-wise.

"I think people who are saying `that's his lot' at Test level and `he won't be able to get back' are being a little foolish. He is still only 30 and the best years of his career are probably still to materialise."