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Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash happy to go head-to-head again | Will Macpherson

The two former England batsmen had oddly similar playing careers but now they face each other from opposing changing rooms

There was a certain symmetry about the weird yet wonderful careers of Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash. Unrelenting runscorers at domestic level, they were England’s 90s nearly men, with patchy international careers that did neither’s extravagant gifts justice. Both were in and out of the side, shunted up and down the order in the bad old days before central contracts.

They made their Test debuts together, against West Indies at Headingley in 1991, and England won. Ramprakash made a pair of 27s, which was a sign of things to come – it would end up being his Test average (although that went up to 42 against Australia). He would last a year longer in Test cricket than Hick, finishing in April 2002, but playing 13 Tests fewer, and Hick’s average at least sneaked into the 30s. At first-class level both had averages deep in the 50s, and made a very neat 250 centuries between them (Hick 136 to Ramprakash’s 114), amid 76,771 runs and look very likely to be the last two batsmen to register 100 first-class hundreds.

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