Hick goes to Australia
Former England batsman Graeme Hick was yesterday named high performance coach at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, tasked with developing the next generation of scorers and turning around the side’s recent batting malaise. Hick, 47, replaced former Australian Test player Stuart Law, who became head coach at Queensland Cricket after Darren Lehmann left the position in June to become Australia’s national coach. One of the first tasks for Hick will be attending a Cricket Australia batting forum in Sydney next month. Australia’s performance in the recent five-match Ashes series in England, won by England 3-0, highlighted their susceptibility to top-order collapses, including one in Durham which saw Australia lose the fourth Test by 74 runs. Hick, who retired from first-class cricket in 2008 with 136 centuries and 41,112 first-class runs, said he had developed a “huge amount of respect for Australian cricket” over the years. “I am excited about the chance to work with Australia’s young talent and being able to assist in their growth and development,” said Hick, who played for Zimbabwe before moving to England, where he played 65 Tests.
England’s Tuilagi injured
England center Manu Tuilagi is doubtful for the November internationals after suffering a suspected torn muscle in his chest. The Leicester Tigers player may require surgery and could be out for two months after injuring his pectoral muscle in Saturday’s win over Newcastle, his club’s director of rugby said on Tuesday. “He is having further investigation, but it will certainly be weeks, potentially leading to months, rather than days,” Richard Cockerill said on BBC Radio Leicester. England begin their autumn series against Australia on Nov. 2, before playing Argentina and New Zealand at Twickenham. Samoan-born Tuilagi, 22, ran into trouble recently when he was forced to apologize after making a “bunny ears” gesture behind the head of British Prime Minister David Cameron in a photocall at 10 Downing Street in London.
Van Dijk wins world title
Ellen van Dijk of the Netherlands won the women’s time trial at the world championships in Florence on Tuesday. The 26-year-old beat Linda Villumsen of New Zealand by 24 seconds to win a world individual title for the first time. Carmen Small of the US came in third, 28 seconds off the pace, just ahead of her compatriot Evelyn Stevens, who won silver last year. Van Dijk follows in the footsteps of Judith Arndt, who won the women’s time trial in 2011 and last year.
Bolt gets new Puma deal
Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt will earn an estimated US$10 million a year in a sponsorship deal with German sportswear company Puma that will take him to the end of his career. The Jamaican, the highest earner in his sport, us to remain with Puma until after the 2016 Olympics when he will seek to add to his six gold medals. Bolt, 27, signed up with Puma as a teenager a decade ago and the renewal of the contract is a fillip for a brand struggling to keep pace with larger rivals Adidas and Nike. Bolt will be paid US$10 million for each of the next three seasons and the same amount if he competes again in 2017 when London hosts the world championships, an industry source said. Once he retires from competition, he will be paid US$4 million per year to act as a Puma ambassador, the source added.