County news July 4, 2012

Ramprakash set to announce retirement

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Mark Ramprakash, the Surrey batsman, is expected to announce his retirement from professional cricket on Thursday at the age of 42. It will bring the curtain down on a 25-year career during which he scaled domestic run-scoring heights that are unlikely to be matched.

However, in 2011 he averaged 33.33 from 13 County Championship matches and this season the signs had been that time was finally catching up with Ramprakash. He was dropped from Championship cricket by Surrey for the first time after a lean start to the summer where he made 62 runs in eight innings - including just the third pair of his career against Worcestershire - and was left to play second XI and club cricket to try and regain form. He was recalled for the match against Sussex, at Horsham, but made just 8 and 37.

Ramprakash will end his career with 114 first-class hundreds and 35,659 runs at 53.14, along with 13,273 runs in one-day cricket. He made his debut for Middlesex in 1987 before moving south of the river in 2001 where he continued to be prolific for Surrey. In two seasons, 2006 and 2007, he passed 2000 runs having also achieved it in 1995 for Middlesex.

Ramprakash's international career ended in 2002 following the tour of New Zealand although his name occasionally cropped up when England's batting had problems, such as the end of the 2009 Ashes. In 52 Tests he averaged an underwhelming 27.32 with just two hundreds - against West Indies in Barbados in 1998 and against Australia at The Oval in 2001 - having made his debut against a strong West Indies attack in 1991.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    To put it anotherway, he was rapidly pidgeonholed. In his first nine Test innings he never made fewer than 13, nor more than 29. I can recall at the time the commentators talking about his habit of making beautiful 20s and getting out. He never lost the reputation and 23 scores in the 20s and 30s over his Test career tend to bear it out.

  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael, part of it may be in his record. He got into double figures 65 times in his 52 Tests, but passed 50 only 14 times. And, of course, only 2 of his 14 fifties became tons. Those are dreadful conversion rates. He didn't even make big fifties: the only times that he passed 72 were when he made the two centuries. You would argue that the selectors were simply going with players who had shown over the years that they could convert a start into a big score.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 5, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    Well played ,Ramps!! you have been a total legend, a true Surrey great to rank with the best of them!! I am sad to see you leave but that is time for you. Thanks for all the runs!

  • AdrianVanDenStael on July 5, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer: No-one could argue that a specialist batsman who played 50 tests and yet averaged 27 and only made two centuries had plenty of chances and a fair share of failures (a point Ramps concedes in his autobiography, especially reflecting on his curiously poor record in tests at Lords). However. Ramps was also made a scapegoat for collective failures of England batting. In the 1991 series against WI you mentioned Ramps never made 30, but he did average more than Hick, Lamb and Atherton; yet it was the latter who were welcomed back into the England side over the next 12 months where Ramps only got the odd test. Similarly Ramps was discarded for the tour of South Africa in 1999 when in fact every England batsman had failed to make a ton in every form of game for England for almost the whole of that calendar year. It's not an issue of Ramps failing to be given chances, but that like a number of England players of this era (Caddick, Hick, Robin Smith) he was badly handled.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 5, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    @JG2704, nobody was injured, Bopara got dropped to make way for Trott. In the end Ramps would still have only played 1 game, where as Trott has played for almost 3 years. if Sentiment was a part of selecting a player than Ramps may have got the call, but thankfully it isnt and calmer heads prevailed with Trott comming in.

  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    @JG, I was just wondering what people on here would have said if Jonny Bairstow had got all 6 Tests this summer and not made a single score over 29 (might still happen). Methinks that they would be asking what he had to do to get dropped from the side! :-)

  • on July 5, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    @Nutcutlet: can't disagree with anything you've said re Surrey. Shorn of our best players due to the fallout over Maynard's bizarre & tragic death, & further weakened by international calls, the best we can realistically hope for now is to avoid relegation from Division One. Having spent the last three or four years successfully moulding a brilliant young side to the point at which they became genuine trophy contenders across all three formats, Chris Adams & the Surrey management & coaching staff now have to focus first on holding the squad together, then on rebuilding it once more, & finally - 18 months to two years down the line - on seeking to challenge for major honours again. That fabulous day at Lord's last September when Rory Hamilton-Brown lifted the CB40 Trophy seemed to us who were there to be the harbinger of glorious times ahead for this side. Little did we know that it was not a harbinger but an epitaph.

  • JG2704 on July 5, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (July 05 2012, 09:37 AM GMT) Agreed. Thought he was unlucky not to get a start in the final Ashes game of 2009. I think he was averaging around the 100 mark at the time (can't remember who was injured) and they were talking about MR or Key (who had a vastly inferior recent CC record at the time). In the end they went for Trott who made a century and has been as consistent as anyone in that Eng batting line up

  • YorkshirePudding on July 5, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    A very good talented cricketer who never really cracked the International scene, either through a stop start international career, or other reasons, we'll never know how he would have done under this england management who seem to want to invest time and effort in players rather than using the revolving door, who's scored a ton this week, policy that we had in the 90's.

  • StevieS on July 5, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    What is it with players like him? Mathew Sinclair from New Zealand is the same, leads the runs at domestic level but it all turns to custard when playing international cricket! Is it psychological? Perhaps its just bad luck? For example what if say Tendulkar played all his lowest 20 tests score all at the start of his career?

  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 16:52 GMT

    To put it anotherway, he was rapidly pidgeonholed. In his first nine Test innings he never made fewer than 13, nor more than 29. I can recall at the time the commentators talking about his habit of making beautiful 20s and getting out. He never lost the reputation and 23 scores in the 20s and 30s over his Test career tend to bear it out.

  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    @AdrianVanDenStael, part of it may be in his record. He got into double figures 65 times in his 52 Tests, but passed 50 only 14 times. And, of course, only 2 of his 14 fifties became tons. Those are dreadful conversion rates. He didn't even make big fifties: the only times that he passed 72 were when he made the two centuries. You would argue that the selectors were simply going with players who had shown over the years that they could convert a start into a big score.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 5, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    Well played ,Ramps!! you have been a total legend, a true Surrey great to rank with the best of them!! I am sad to see you leave but that is time for you. Thanks for all the runs!

  • AdrianVanDenStael on July 5, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer: No-one could argue that a specialist batsman who played 50 tests and yet averaged 27 and only made two centuries had plenty of chances and a fair share of failures (a point Ramps concedes in his autobiography, especially reflecting on his curiously poor record in tests at Lords). However. Ramps was also made a scapegoat for collective failures of England batting. In the 1991 series against WI you mentioned Ramps never made 30, but he did average more than Hick, Lamb and Atherton; yet it was the latter who were welcomed back into the England side over the next 12 months where Ramps only got the odd test. Similarly Ramps was discarded for the tour of South Africa in 1999 when in fact every England batsman had failed to make a ton in every form of game for England for almost the whole of that calendar year. It's not an issue of Ramps failing to be given chances, but that like a number of England players of this era (Caddick, Hick, Robin Smith) he was badly handled.

  • YorkshirePudding on July 5, 2012, 14:32 GMT

    @JG2704, nobody was injured, Bopara got dropped to make way for Trott. In the end Ramps would still have only played 1 game, where as Trott has played for almost 3 years. if Sentiment was a part of selecting a player than Ramps may have got the call, but thankfully it isnt and calmer heads prevailed with Trott comming in.

  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    @JG, I was just wondering what people on here would have said if Jonny Bairstow had got all 6 Tests this summer and not made a single score over 29 (might still happen). Methinks that they would be asking what he had to do to get dropped from the side! :-)

  • on July 5, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    @Nutcutlet: can't disagree with anything you've said re Surrey. Shorn of our best players due to the fallout over Maynard's bizarre & tragic death, & further weakened by international calls, the best we can realistically hope for now is to avoid relegation from Division One. Having spent the last three or four years successfully moulding a brilliant young side to the point at which they became genuine trophy contenders across all three formats, Chris Adams & the Surrey management & coaching staff now have to focus first on holding the squad together, then on rebuilding it once more, & finally - 18 months to two years down the line - on seeking to challenge for major honours again. That fabulous day at Lord's last September when Rory Hamilton-Brown lifted the CB40 Trophy seemed to us who were there to be the harbinger of glorious times ahead for this side. Little did we know that it was not a harbinger but an epitaph.

  • JG2704 on July 5, 2012, 11:46 GMT

    @CricketingStargazer on (July 05 2012, 09:37 AM GMT) Agreed. Thought he was unlucky not to get a start in the final Ashes game of 2009. I think he was averaging around the 100 mark at the time (can't remember who was injured) and they were talking about MR or Key (who had a vastly inferior recent CC record at the time). In the end they went for Trott who made a century and has been as consistent as anyone in that Eng batting line up

  • YorkshirePudding on July 5, 2012, 11:00 GMT

    A very good talented cricketer who never really cracked the International scene, either through a stop start international career, or other reasons, we'll never know how he would have done under this england management who seem to want to invest time and effort in players rather than using the revolving door, who's scored a ton this week, policy that we had in the 90's.

  • StevieS on July 5, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    What is it with players like him? Mathew Sinclair from New Zealand is the same, leads the runs at domestic level but it all turns to custard when playing international cricket! Is it psychological? Perhaps its just bad luck? For example what if say Tendulkar played all his lowest 20 tests score all at the start of his career?

  • CricketingStargazer on July 5, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    I am a bit puzzled by some of these suggestions that he never got a fair run in the England side. In his debut season in 1991 he played all 6 Tests, but had a top score of only 29. In 1998 and 1999 he played 18 Tests, having a consistent run in the side through 5 consecutive series. After missing the winter tour he played 4 more Tests the following summer against Zimbabwe and the West Indies, passing 18 just once in those 4 Tests before losing his plaace. Some would say that he had two fair runs in the side there, but never nailed down his place successfully.

  • Nathan_123 on July 5, 2012, 8:58 GMT

    whoster I couldn't agree with you more. I remember him in the mid 80's when he toured Srilanka with the England U19 and some of the inning he played there still in my memory. I wish he was young and played his cricket in the last decade, where the selector could have given him consistant run in the England team. Thank you for your entertainment Mark and enjoy the retirement.

  • Nutcutlet on July 5, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @ Si Baker. As a fellow Surrey supporter I share your concern about the rest of this season: the tragedy and shock of the loss of Tom Maynard; H-B's fully understandable and urgent need of his private time to grieve and come to terms with the loss of his best friend, and now Ramps announcing his immediate departure; it all amounts to a huge burden to be visited on any club or organization. This is where management and senior players must show their mettle. In this respect I believe that there is enough character in the club's structure for the hurricane to be weathered. Patience, understanding, mutual support and a new bonding with some young players getting their early opportunities to shine in the first team can provide something of a precious silver lining for all that's happened. For the moment, we have to trust that adversity can bring out the best in SCCC, collectively and individually. Ultimately, tragedy makes you stronger, more resiliant - and this will surely come to pass.

  • anver777 on July 5, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    25 Years !!!!!!! that's a long long career with some excellent stats...... have a nice retirement from cricket & best of luck for future !!!!!!!!

  • on July 5, 2012, 2:04 GMT

    In the space of less than a month, we (Surrey) have now lost what amounts to our entire middle-order (with the honourable exception of Zander de Bruyn, who can't be far off retirement himself): Maynard, Hamilton-Brown & now Ramprakash. One can't help feeling that Ramps's precipitate mid-season retirement was almost certainly hastened by the doom-laden atmosphere now enveloping The Oval following Tom Maynard's untimely demise. Ramprakash, during his stints as a Sky summariser, has displayed a high degree of analytical nous as well as being both eloquent & refreshingly cliche-free. I, for one, sincerely hope he'll now go into broadcasting full-time. As for his batting: utterly exquisite: poetry in motion.

  • 2.14istherunrate on July 4, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    @ AdrianvanDenStael- That '90's side had a middle of the road record at home,but they were hopeless abroad so their result table looked worse than it really was. Apart from an anomalous series v NZ in 1999, they only really did badly against Aus and Pak. They had good players, but I agree that lack of leadership made things bad for them and just a lack of professsional intent there. Once fletcher was in charge things improved. Illingworth seems to have got to a lot of people-weird considering his captaincy success.

  • whoster on July 4, 2012, 22:13 GMT

    Such a shame that Ramprakash burst onto the scene at a time where the England selectors chopped and changed all the time. Had he been a young batsman in today's game, the selectors would've identified him as a special talent and backed him all the way. Having said all that, he still had a wonderful first-class career, and his statistics are astonishing. A great batsman who could've been truly great, had he not gone out to bat for England fearing a failure could see him dropped next game. England fans should raise a glass to our selectors, because had players such as Cook, Bell and Broad been around a generation earlier, they'd not have had the same loyalty invested in them. Long- term investment brings long-term rewards, and it's great to see the lessons learnt from the 90's, when batsmen of the quality of Ramprakash (and Hick) were contstantly looking over their shoulders.

  • on July 4, 2012, 21:55 GMT

    This bloke was one of the best batters of the last 25 years. Legend

  • glance_to_leg on July 4, 2012, 21:41 GMT

    Great player, ill-used by the selectors. He should have played a hundred tests for twice the average, and would have done had he been properly handled, but players with half his talent were preferred. One of the most elegant players I have ever seen, both when a youngster of seventeen and as a middle-aged veteran. I hope he has no regrets. Enjoy the retirement, Ramps.

  • on July 4, 2012, 21:37 GMT

    good player, just like Graham Hick interms of being far too good for county cricket but no where near good enough for test cricket. i doth my cap to an outstanding county cricket career but i can't forgive him for his 100 in each innings in the last match of the 2007 season which really denied Lancashire from winning the championship. i suppose its now time for Ramp's to end up like some of ex England team mates like Tuffer's, Cork, Vaughan, Butcher, et al and become a regular face on TV

  • Somerset-Richard on July 4, 2012, 21:27 GMT

    One of the very finest cricketers of this generation. It's always been a pleasure watching Mark Ramprakash play, just wish it had been for Somerset! I hope that has great success in whatever he chooses to do now.

  • JG2704 on July 4, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    In terms of county form , Ramps has to be one of the most consistent batsmen we've had in the last 30 years. We also had Hick who was absolutely the bees knees before he qualified for England. Unfortunately both never really fulfillef their potential for England. I seem to rememmber Ramps often getting starts for England and then getting out in his 20s/30s which was very frustrating. Like Tuffnell , the sad thing is that Mark is more known to the general person for his non cricket TV exploits. Decent player and seems a decent bloke. Would probably make a good pundit

  • Stumay on July 4, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    Another era comes to an end. Ramps, it has been an absolute pleasure to watch you play cricket. You brought a touch of the golden age back to the game and for us purists, you were the one to watch, the slow-burning run machine that ground down the bowlers, showing the value of building an innings, picking the gaps and knowing when to accelerate your scoring. I doubt we will ever see someone hit 100 first-class centuries again or score so many runs over so long a period. One perfectly timed cover drive from you in a 4 or 5 day match was worth more than a decade of 20/20 slogs. English cricket will be all the poorer for your rertirement, how about just one more year?

  • Nutcutlet on July 4, 2012, 20:06 GMT

    It is somewhat futile to say it now, but Ramps would have thrived under the current regime where the management skills are of a much higher order. As a player starting out on his international career his potential would have been identified and with that judgement call he would have been given some security of tenure - allowed to fail as he came to terms with what was required of him - without the paralysing fear of failure - which was what he lived with. The class was always there, so was the commitment - only skilful management was missing because skilfu & sensitivel management will always get the best out of a worker in any field of activity. This is, unfortunately, something that was missing through the 90s. BTW, to average above 40 v Australia in their pomp gives the lie to the temperament argument so often trotted out. Enjoy the retirement, Ramps - and thanks for the wonderful memories.

  • on July 4, 2012, 20:02 GMT

    he could have been in the West Indies team since his folks are from Guyana. His talent could have ensured a long and lasting ca.reer in WI. Great batsman, but he made the choice to stay in England. The same thing happened with Monty Lynch of Surrey. When England dumped him he made attempts to play in the WI and did well in the first class competetion but he did not stay. He wanted to be in England side.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 4, 2012, 19:59 GMT

    If he'd just hold on for 3 more first class hundreds, he'd equal a certain Sir Donald George Bradman!

  • on July 4, 2012, 19:07 GMT

    Amazing player, and the records speaks for its self . He couldn't do any justice to his international career thanks to the English selectors of the 1990's........

  • woodhaven on July 4, 2012, 18:58 GMT

    Retire at 42, crazy. Very soon whole India team will follow him

  • AdrianVanDenStael on July 4, 2012, 18:51 GMT

    Atherton, Stewart, Knight, Butcher, Hick, Smith, Hussein, Thorpe, Ramprakash, Crawley, Russell, Lewis, DeFreitas, Cork, Gough, Caddick, Headley, Fraser, Malcolm, Tufnell ... When you think of the players England had available in the mid 1990s, of whom Ramps will be about the last to retire, it is striking how little success they had, even ending that decade as ninth out of nine in the test rankings. Poor leadership must be part of the explanation, as is suggested in Ramps' recollections of what happened to him on the 1995-6 tour of South Africa. According to Ramps Ray Illingworth and the England management hardly spoke to him, and the most useful bit of advice he got as an England player came while he was on that tour, but it came from the opponents' coach (the late Bob Woolmer). Ramps also had the best time of his career in about 2006-9, by which time he'd been discarded by England.

  • on July 4, 2012, 18:23 GMT

    If England only knew how to manage and nurture such an immense talent... Ashes would have come sooner. The only England Batsman the Aussies rated at that time. A pity but hope he walks off with his head held high and fulfilled...

  • bobletham on July 4, 2012, 17:45 GMT

    It is obvious that his international performance completely failed to do him justice but his record against Australia was good - and at the time Australia was the best team in the world.

  • on July 4, 2012, 17:42 GMT

    Unforgettable player! His batting was a pleasure to watch, pity try write longer stories about 50s scored by idiots in ipl. Ramps deserves a grand farewell!

  • on July 4, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    Could have been one of the games greats. Seriously mismanaged by the England management especially Ray Illingworth. I enjoyed many hours watching his classic technique and a gracefulness that not many now emulate. Got to slog it out of the park now. What ever happened to grace and art and beauty ?

  • Iamnotboredofcricket on July 4, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    So long Ramps, and thanks for all the runs. Incredible career.

  • nathangonmad on July 4, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    Wonder why he didn't at least stay on until the end of the season?

  • Hammondfan on July 4, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    What a shame the report neglects to say how classic and correct Ramps was. Watching ten minutes of him was worth hours and hours of some county yoickers and oikers. Thank you, Ramps, for 25 years of pleasure.

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on July 4, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Sad to see Ramps finally call it quits. After looking for the Lancs score, the next thing I always used to do was to check how Graeme Hick got on; when he retired, it was Mark Ramprakash. It's funny how both players' careers ran in such a similar fashion: both immensely talented, but mentally fragile, you can't help but feel that if they'd come into the England team with the current management and backroom staff, they'd both have flourished over time. The likes of Ray Illingworth has a lot to answer for! Thanks for all the memories Mark, and for the enjoyment you've given to legions of true cricket fans in this country. I just wish you'd played at Lancs... :)

  • o-bomb on July 4, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    A real shame that he never made it at international level, as he was always far too good for domestic cricket. Great fielder too!

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Ramprakash epitomises all that is good & bad about English cricket. True professional, but way past his use by date. I always felt that if there was a different mantra in English selection policies during the 90s, he would of had a better run in Tests & ended up with an average in the low 40s.

  • funkyandy on July 4, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Great player, great bloke. Incredible record to retire with. Most people will go on about his lack of international runs, but he had to face more genuinely great bowlers (Ambrose, Walsh, Warne, McGrath, Waqar etc) compared to today's England players. One of cricket's good guys - a true gent and a county legend.

  • Indian_Fan09 on July 4, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Goodbye.......... Legend!!!

  • on July 4, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    What a remarkable player. Achieved many milestones. Though it'll always hurt that he couldn't set his mark in the international cricket.

  • emmersonne on July 4, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    A shame to see it end. A 25 year first class career is no mean feat. A man who has been lighting up the pitch longer than I have even been alive!

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  • emmersonne on July 4, 2012, 13:34 GMT

    A shame to see it end. A 25 year first class career is no mean feat. A man who has been lighting up the pitch longer than I have even been alive!

  • on July 4, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    What a remarkable player. Achieved many milestones. Though it'll always hurt that he couldn't set his mark in the international cricket.

  • Indian_Fan09 on July 4, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Goodbye.......... Legend!!!

  • funkyandy on July 4, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    Great player, great bloke. Incredible record to retire with. Most people will go on about his lack of international runs, but he had to face more genuinely great bowlers (Ambrose, Walsh, Warne, McGrath, Waqar etc) compared to today's England players. One of cricket's good guys - a true gent and a county legend.

  • Meety on July 4, 2012, 14:08 GMT

    Ramprakash epitomises all that is good & bad about English cricket. True professional, but way past his use by date. I always felt that if there was a different mantra in English selection policies during the 90s, he would of had a better run in Tests & ended up with an average in the low 40s.

  • o-bomb on July 4, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    A real shame that he never made it at international level, as he was always far too good for domestic cricket. Great fielder too!

  • FreddyForPrimeMinister on July 4, 2012, 15:37 GMT

    Sad to see Ramps finally call it quits. After looking for the Lancs score, the next thing I always used to do was to check how Graeme Hick got on; when he retired, it was Mark Ramprakash. It's funny how both players' careers ran in such a similar fashion: both immensely talented, but mentally fragile, you can't help but feel that if they'd come into the England team with the current management and backroom staff, they'd both have flourished over time. The likes of Ray Illingworth has a lot to answer for! Thanks for all the memories Mark, and for the enjoyment you've given to legions of true cricket fans in this country. I just wish you'd played at Lancs... :)

  • Hammondfan on July 4, 2012, 16:05 GMT

    What a shame the report neglects to say how classic and correct Ramps was. Watching ten minutes of him was worth hours and hours of some county yoickers and oikers. Thank you, Ramps, for 25 years of pleasure.

  • nathangonmad on July 4, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    Wonder why he didn't at least stay on until the end of the season?

  • Iamnotboredofcricket on July 4, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    So long Ramps, and thanks for all the runs. Incredible career.