DUBAI // The career renaissance of Graeme Hick, the former England batsman, will continue in January when he turns out for the Lord's Taverners. The Zimbabwe-born batsman scored 41,112 runs in his 25-year career before hanging up his bat at the end of last summer. However, shortly after announcing his retirement from the first-class game, Hick opted to take up a lucrative contract with the Chandigarh Lions in the rebel Twenty20 Indian Cricket League (ICL).
He is unlikely to play competitively again in England - due to sanctions against the ICL contracted players - but he is a welcome addition to the London-based charity side's ranks when they play at a venue yet to be decided. Hick's firepower will be vital to the Taverners as they attempt to break even in their long-running series with the UAE domestic team, Fly Emirates. Emirates, who consist of many of the UAE national team's top players, have been so dominant in their matches with the Taverners in the past that the charity side usually field an XI made up of first-class cricketers. Hick will bolster a line-up which is also likely to include the former England captain Mike Gatting, as well as the new-ball trio Darren Gough, Andy Caddick and Devon Malcolm. The fixtures will also take on added significance for the home side.
Emirates are due to be pitted in the eight-team ProArch Trophy in March, where they will face six of England's top county sides, plus the full UAE side. They are believed to have dismissed the chance to bring in a variety of big players from the subcontinent to strengthen their side. firstname.lastname@example.org