County news December 19, 2012

Ramprakash returns as Middlesex batting coach

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mark Ramprakash will return to Middlesex as the county's batting coach, 12 years after crossing the river as a player to join Surrey. Ramprakash, 43, retired last season after a 25-year playing career, in which he made more than 50,000 runs and scored 131 centuries.

Ramprakash has agreed a two-year contract and replaces Mark O'Neill who will be returning to Australia on a permanent basis after three years looking after Middlesex's batsmen. Since his retirement, Ramprakash had been working with England's Performance Programme, assisting Graham Gooch and Graham Thorpe on the tour of India.

A classy middle-order batsman who came through the system at Middlesex, Ramprakash will now bring his wealth of experience to bear on the next generation at Lord's. Despite a largely unfulfilled 52-Test career for England, he was the last batsman to reach the landmark of 100 first-class hundreds and finished with an average of 53.14.

"I am delighted to have been invited back to Middlesex to take up a coaching role at the club," Ramprakash said. "It is a club I grew up watching and where I had 14 enjoyable seasons as a player."

"Middlesex is the club that gave me the chance to achieve what I have in cricket and I am delighted to be able to return to work with and help the current and next generation of Middlesex cricketers. I am excited by the talent in the current crop of players and look forward to contributing to the club."

Angus Fraser, Middlesex's director of cricket, was particularly pleased to be reunited with Ramprakash, whom he played alongside both for club and country. "I am thrilled to have Mark back at Middlesex," Fraser said. "It is my job to provide Middlesex's cricketers with the best possible coaching, support and advice available and in Mark Ramprakash they have that.

"His record speaks for itself, and in the past 25 years there has not been a better batsman in county cricket. During 1,221 innings Mark has experienced almost everything it is possible for a batsman to experience and the knowledge that he can pass on to our cricketers is unsurpassable. As a professional cricketer his attention to detail and work ethic were second to none. Though naturally gifted it was not good fortune that allowed him to score more than 50,000 professional runs. A love of cricket, fierce desire and hard work were the cocktail of ingredients."

"Mark moved from Middlesex to Surrey in 2000, but I never felt his heart left the club. He has always lived in the county and played cricket for Stanmore Cricket Club when commitments permitted.

"It is Mark's love of the art of batting that makes me believe he will become an outstanding coach. He loves talking batting and Middlesex's cricketers have a huge resource to tap in to. I believe he is the best man for the job and we are extremely fortunate to have a cricketer of his character and pedigree working at this club."