Batsman gives up on England August 19, 2007

Ramprakash - I'm not holding out for England recall



Mark Ramprakash is aiming for 100 first-class hundreds © Martin Williamson

Mark Ramprakash has finally given up hope of an England recall. Given his prolific form - 1322 runs at 77.76 so far this season - his name has been linked with the national side all summer, and a selector, Geoff Miller, even spoke to him when he was down at Hove in May just before the India Test series.

But Ramprakash confirmed to Cricinfo that Miller explained to him why he wouldn't be called up (despite his ongoing runscoring) rather than anything else. "He asked me how I was doing. I said, 'Yeah, pretty good.' I felt he went through the reasons as to why I wouldn't be selected.

"Specifically, he said they were sticking with guys they've selected at the moment. There was my age. I just kind-of felt that my name had been cropping up as warranting a recall, and the selectors were covering themselves to make sure they had spoken to me which was very nice. He said my name came up now and then.

"It really didn't make a difference. I'm very happy with what I'm doing with Surrey and I'm relaxed. I'm certainly not holding out for an England recall."

Instead, Ramprakash will concentrate on a personal goal, as well as trying to win a one-day trophy with Surrey. "I haven't given up on that. Success is still important. Personally, I'm aiming for 100 hundreds. It would be a fantastic thing to achieve before I retire."

He currently has 93 first-class hundreds - with 24 players having reached the magical mark to date, Graeme Hick being the latest - and has at least one more year on his contract with Surrey.

"I still enjoy the cut and thrust of it all at Surrey. I think we're very close to playing really well. All the players who have been there a while have to keep performing. And Harbhajan Singh is world class."

And Ramprakash particularly values his runs in the top division, putting an interesting perspective on the reason why. "There is a gap between the divisions," he says. "The way I think about it is that in Division 1, you play the best four sides twice. Eight big games, that's half the season. In Division 2, you play the worst four sides twice. It's a massive difference."

He is nevertheless confident that Surrey will avoid the drop, despite them being second from bottom, although he appreciates that other counties are currently another class apart. "Surrey have had good moments but we've been inconsistent - and the bad moments have been drastic. A county like Yorkshire, though, have all-round depth."

Surrey's next Championship match begins on Tuesday, when they take on leaders Sussex at The Oval.

Jenny Thompson is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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