July 6, 2012
Mark Ramprakask announced his retirement from all forms of cricket yesterday after a staggering 25 years as a professional.
Ramprakash made his first-class debut in 1987 for Middlesex as a young 17 year old. He finished his career as a 42 year-old player for neighbours Surrey.
In 461 first-class appearances Ramprakash registered a colossal 114 centuries. His 100th hundred came against Yorkshire at Headingley in 2008, the ground where he registered his first ton at this level for Middlesex.
The right-handed batsman finished with a staggering 35,659 first class runs. Despite this dominance in domestic cricket, Ramprakash’s statistics in Test cricket fall short of the ability of the man.
Ramprakash played in the days of in-out selection and himself and Graham Hick suffered because of this. From an early age it was clear that Ramprakash had a technique that was destined for the top. His greatest success in Test matches came against the mighty Australians. Ramprakash averaged over 42 against the team who have been regarded by many as the best ever and it remains a great mystery to many why he struggled for consistency.
What’s important when someone retires is to look at what the sportsman/woman has brought to the table. Ramprakash was a master performer with bat in hand, and had a technique and an appetite for runs that was freakish. He will more than likely be the last batsman in the history of the game to pass 100 centuries.
In his early days he was an exceptional fielder square of the wicket. A great memory was the one handed catch he took at the MCG to dismiss Justin Langer in helping England to a famous victory. The emotion poured out of his body and displayed what Ramprakash is in a nutshell; a fiery brilliant cricketer.
Yes there wasn’t enough Test match hundreds to marvel at, but after 25 years it’s time to celebrate an outstanding career in which he became a legendry player both sides of the river. And the boy can dance.
The Scoop 06/07/12