Ramprakash freed for IPL
Mark Ramprakash has been given permission by Surrey to play in the IPL and will now take his place in the February 6 auction in Goa.
There is a current list of 111 players lined up to be bought, but that will be trimmed down in the coming days. If Ramprakash is successful in finding a deal he will miss the first month of the English domestic season before returning for the Friends Provident Trophy match against Gloucestershire on May 13, meaning he would be available for four weeks of the IPL which begins on April 10.
The No Obligation Certificate (NOC) offered by Surrey follows swiftly from Ramprakash signing a new two-year deal with the club earlier today, meaning he will still be playing first-class cricket well into his 42nd year, despite intimating at the end of last season that he might move on from The Oval.
Ramprakash last year became the 25th batsman to score a hundred first-class hundreds, joining the likes of Sir Jack Hobbs, Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Viv Richards and Geoff Boycott. At the end of the 2008 season, in which Surrey were relegated in the Championship, Ramprakash said he didn't "really want to finish my career in Division Two", but now that Surrey's management has been shaken up - Chris Adams, the former Sussex captain, joined in the winter as manager - Ramprakash is staying put.
"I have had a fantastic career up until now but still feel like I have much more to give," he said. "There are a huge amount of runs left in me and I look forward to helping shape a new era of Surrey cricket, both at the crease and in the dressing room. Surrey have a number of exciting young batsmen and it's now down to me and other experienced players at the club to work with the management team to help them use their talent and succeed in the professional game."
Adams added: "Mark's record in recent years has been simply staggering and I am over the moon that he has decided to extend his career with us," he said. "Statistics like those he has accumulated throughout his career simply do not lie and I look forward to watching him score thousands more runs and working with him to secure Surrey's future as a successful club for many years to come."
Ramprakash has been in prolific form over the past few seasons, averaging in excess of 100 in 2006 and 2007. He topped last year's averages for Surrey again, with 1235 runs at 61.75.