MELBOURNE Former England batsman Graeme Hick has been appointed as Australia's new fulltime batting coach after initially working with the team on a temporary basis.
Hick has signed a contract until March 2020, Cricket Australia said on Thursday, having spent time with the side in the Caribbean earlier this year after Michael Di Venuto took up the head coaching role with English county side Surrey.
"Graeme worked with us during the recent ODI tour in the West Indies and we were really impressed with what he brought to the group," Australia head coach Darren Lehmann said in a statement.
"With an ICC Champions Trophy, an Ashes Series and an ICC World Cup all to be played in England in the near future, his knowledge of those conditions will also be invaluable."
Zimbabwe-born Hick will take up his post before Australia host South Africa for three tests later this year.
Australia's batting group struggled on their recent tour of Sri Lanka, where the hosts' spin bowlers flummoxed them on turning pitches to sweep the three-test series.
Hick, who was prolific at first class level in England, played 65 tests and 120 one-day internationals for his adopted country.
The right-handed batsman, however, struggled to convert his first-class form into the international arena.
He scored 136 first-class centuries at an average of 52.2 but only six centuries at test level, averaging just 31.32 runs.
The 50-year-old, batting coach at Cricket Australia's high performance centre in Brisbane since 2013, joined the Australia team on their one-day triangular series in the Caribbean in June.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my current role with Cricket Australia and have worked with some great young up and coming players during my time heading-up the under-19 programme," Hick said.
"To take the next step up with the men's team and getting the opportunity to work with some of the best players in the world is something I am really looking forward to."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury in Wellington; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)