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International Cricket

Warne names former greats who should replace Hick as Australia batting coach

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Shane Warne has named Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke among a quartet of former batting stars he believes should be considered as possible replacements for under-fire Australia batting coach Graeme Hick.

Warne had previously voiced his criticism of the former England batsman, but has now called for Cricket Australia to replace the Zimbabwean-born former England international.

Australia have lost 18 of their previous 24 encounters across all formats, and the former spin legend believes “it’s time for a change”, insisting his nation have many past heroes who could step into Hick’s shoes to boost the batting department.

Australia batting coach Graeme Hick looks on during Wednesday’s T20 match between Australia and India

He told AAP on Wednesday: “The one thing I would say is … Australian cricket over the last 25-30 years has had some terrific batsmen.

“Graeme Hick has been there for the last few years and seen that the players are making the same mistakes all the time; it’s time for a change. Whether it be Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey … I’m sure any of those guys could do it.

Australia are missing their two of their best batsmen and their three first-choice pacers

Ricky Ponting joined Australia’s coaching team as an assistant for the 2017-18 Trans-Tasman Tri-Series

“We’ve had great cricketers for the past 25 years and they (should) be around the cricket team more often. Get Glenn McGrath with the bowlers … there are so many opportunities.”

The second-highest wicket-taker in Test history has also criticised the president of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, Greg Dyer, for attempting to reduce the 12-month first-class bans levied to former Australia captain Steve Smith, former vice-captain David Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft for their role in the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in March.

David Warner and Steve Smith are only currently eligible to play grade cricket

On Tuesday, Cricket Australia confirmed they would not reduce any suspensions, which means Smith and Warner can only play grade cricket for the duration of Australia’s home summer.

“I think once the bans were in place, even though I thought they were too harsh at the time, you can’t overrule them,” Warne added. “I was disappointed Greg Dyer and the Players’ Association even did that. You can’t overturn them because Australia’s cricketers are playing so badly.”

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