Worcestershire are expected to confirm this morning that Graeme Hick has signed his offer of a one-year deal to remain for a final season at New Road, writes Ged Scott.
After being offered a new deal on slightly reduced terms, the long-serving former England batsman will still be one of the best-paid players in county cricket.
Hick agreed his new contract following a final discussion with chairman John Elliott on Friday and Worcestershire have cause to feel pleased with themselves for averting the loss of the New Road legend to Derbyshire.
Hick has been weighing up an offer of a two-year deal from a club run by two of his former New Road colleagues Tom Sears and Dave Houghton. And, although it might have been understood if he had moved on, given the time it has taken Worcestershire to make him a suitable offer of their own, it would still have left a sour taste had he left after two decades of outstanding service.
Most tellingly, though, Worcestershire would at least appear to have got the whole saga out of the way in time to concentrate on the final month of the domestic season. Following today's delayed trip to Grace Road to play newlycrowned Twenty20 champions Leicestershire in only their second Pro 40 contest, they will have to do that without Hick's successor as New Road run king, Phil Jaques.
They are already without Hick and Kabir Ali, who has an intercostal strain and today is Jaques' last game before he returns to international duty with Australia.