Graeme Ashley Hick is 40 tomorrow, 15 years after the first of his 65 Test caps against the West Indies at Edgbaston.
He has no contractual commitment to Worcestershire after the end of this season, preferring to see how his form pans out, but if one of the nicest men ever to grace cricket needs any encouragement to keep going he should study the career of Sir Jack Hobbs.
The great England and Surrey batsman scored more than a hundred of his 197 first-class centuries after the age of 40.
Hick's next "ton" will take him into joint eighth place with Sir Leonard Hutton among the 24-strong most elite batting club in history - those cricketers who scored 100 hundreds. Having reported and broadcast on at least a third of Hick's 128 hundreds, he has been the nearest thing to a run-machine in the last 20 years.
He burst on the English scene in 1984 with Worcestershire and quickly set several records with his clinical method. Anyone walking into a county match when he was batting and watching him bat without looking at the scoreboard would never know if his score was four or 104.
It would be block, block then four. Clinical, albeit with hard hands, but he knew his one game and trusted it. Sadly for him and England, he had to serve a seven-year qualification period before he could play Test cricket - and even that swingeing sentence was reduced from an original ten-year edict from Lord's. It was not just the long wait to play on the bigger stage, it was what it did in those formative years.
Some of his strengths at county level were to become a weakness for England. He was a destroyer of any bowling except the very best, and in county cricket rarely faced more than two quality bowlers in an attack. At Test level, the opposing attack was usually four-handed and there were few easy runs available.
He became the fastest man to 10,000 first-class runs and had scored 50 hundreds, including his unbeaten 405 against Somerset, before he played for England. His seven years of enforced county cricket meant he was denied the priceless advantage afforded to batsmen before him, such as Kenny Barrington, Jim Parks, Dennis Amiss, Graham Gooch, and Keith Fletcher.
All made their England debut well before their 25th birthday, were found out and returned to county cricket, where they had the nous and determination to iron out basic faults before sheer weight of runs forced their re-selection.
Hick, at the age of 25 when he was first picked, had the extra burden of a massive level of public expectation.
His supporters might argue that he was unlucky to start against the West Indies but a Test is just that - a test of technique and temperament, and never mind who you play against.
The difference in Hick was that for a spectator watching him in an England shirt, his body language was precisely the opposite to that at New Road. You wouldn't know if he had just come in or had been batting for a couple of hours because he always seemed to be at full stretch.
Predominately a front-foot player, it was wrong to say he couldn't play fast bowling because, as with Tom Graveney before him, he learned to cut and pull a yard in front of his batting crease.
Also, two of his hundreds were against some high-quality aggressive fast bowlers - his 172 against the West Indies at New Road in 1988 and his 141 against then debutant Shaun Pollock in 1995 in the Pretoria Test match.
His 172 against a pace attack comprising Patrick Patterson, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh and Ian Bishop completed his 1,000 runs before the end of May in his last innings in that month, a feat only previously achieved eight times.
His parents had flown in that day from Zimbabwe to watch their son reach the magic 1,000 in 11 innings - fewer than anyone except W G Grace and Sir Donald Bradman. He faced only 1,345 deliveries, and hit 118 fours and 21 sixes, giving him 598 in boundaries - 60 per cent of his runs.
That year was his best. He scored 2,713 runs to top the national averages with 77.51. He scored ten hundreds and five fifties in only 37 innings, a high-class rate of conversion.
As for his 141 against Pollock and Allan Donald, it looked to be the innings, four years after debut, that would establish himself for England. The background was as follows. He was dropped for the Old Trafford Test against the West Indies in 1995 after scores of 18, 27, 13, 67, 1 and 3 and reportedly left the ground close to tears.
Chairman of selectors Ray Illingworth brought him back for the final Test at Trent Bridge and suggested that he put on a harder front to the opposition. He responded with an unbeaten 118 before 96 and an unbeaten 51 at the Oval, three months before his tour de force 142 in Pretoria.
In the following season he was out of the England side within two months. Against India, he scored 8, 1, 6 and 30 and, having missed a match for Worcestershire between the second and third Tests in order to rest, was Waqared by Younis at Lord's for a brace of 4s.
He was dropped for the rest of the summer after 46 Tests, an "under-achiever". Because of his quiet unemotional exterior, together with his lack of response to the most intensive sledging, it was an easy tag to give him.
He genuinely disliked artificially-contrived confrontations, off the field as well, because of an innate reserved response to the media. A man who only ever wanted to let his bat do his talking, he would have enjoyed his cricket much more in days gone by, when the modern insistence on quotes and sound-bites were as much an anathema to scribe as cricketer.
Hick's place in history in secure. True cricket-lovers will hope the runs flow as quickly as the Severn amid the current rain, and that one of the most courteous cricketers to play for Worcestershire will encourage the club to prolong a marriage made in heaven into one which lasts more than 20 years. Happy 40th Graeme.