Mark Ramprakash

Mark Ramprakash
Mark Ramprakash 2.jpg
Personal information
Full name Mark Ravin Ramprakash
Born 5 September 1969 (1969-09-05) (age 42)
Bushey, Hertfordshire, England
Nickname Ramps, Bloodaxe, The Hips
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Batting style Right-handed
Bowling style Right arm off-spin
Role Batsman
International information
National side England
Test debut (cap 549) 6 June 1991 v West Indies
Last Test 3 April 2002 v New Zealand
ODI debut (cap 114) 25 May 1991 v West Indies
Last ODI 13 October 2001 v Zimbabwe
Domestic team information
Years Team
1987–2000 Middlesex
2001–present Surrey (squad no. 77)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 52 18 450 407
Runs scored 2,350 376 35,427 13,273
Batting average 27.32 26.85 54.41 40.22
100s/50s 2/12 0/1 114/147 17/85
Top score 154 51 301* 147*
Balls bowled 895 132 4,177 1,734
Wickets 4 4 34 46
Bowling average 119.25 27.00 64.76 29.43
5 wickets in innings 0 0 1
10 wickets in match 0 n/a
Best bowling 1/2 3/28 3/32 5/38
Catches/stumpings 39/– 8/– 253/– 136/–
Source: CricketArchive, 3 August 2011

Mark Ravin Ramprakash (born 5 September 1969) is an English cricketer, playing for Surrey and England. A right-handed batsman, he initially made his name playing for Middlesex, and was selected for England aged 21. Despite being among the most gifted and heavily scoring English batsman of his generation at county level, he rarely performed well during a long but intermittent international career. He has been a particularly prolific run scorer since his move to Surrey in 2001, averaging over 100 runs per innings in successive seasons (2006 & 2007).[1] He is one of only 25 players in the history of the sport to have scored 100 first-class centuries.

Contents

Career

Mark Ramprakash was born in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and is of Indian and English descent. His father, born in the Caribbean, was an Indian from Guyana and his mother was English.[2][3] He attended Gayton High School (now Harrow High School), and then Harrow Weald Sixth Form College. His first local club was Bessborough Cricket Club in Headstone Lane where he showed early promise as a fast bowler before concentrating on his batting. He played his first match for Middlesex aged just 17, scoring 63 not out against Yorkshire, and top-scoring with 71 in his second match against Essex at Chelmsford (he was still a sixth-form student at the time). He scored his maiden first-class century at Headingley against Yorkshire in 1989, and captained the England U-19 team. He came to national prominence when, at the age of only 18, he won the man-of-the match award in the 1988 NatWest Trophy Final after his innings of 56 helped Middlesex beat Worcestershire.

During his early days as a professional cricketer, Ramprakash had a reputation as a something of a mercurial and stormy character. Nicknamed "Bloodaxe" by Middlesex team-mates for his short temper, Ramprakash's younger days are now sharply contrasted with the laconic mellowness of his thirties.[4]

Ramprakash at a young age had to choose between playing football for Watford FC or continue his playing career in cricket. His choice was made easier after Watford moved to London Colney training centre shared with Arsenal and after losing 7-0 he choose to continue with cricket.

Test career

Ramprakash was selected for his first Test match for England against the West Indies at Headingley in 1991. This was the same game in which Graeme Hick made his England Test debut, and like Hick, he struggled to impress producing a series of scores in the 20s. He was dropped in 1992 after a number of poor performances. However, his consistent heavy scoring in county cricket meant that he was always on the fringes of selection.

He was recalled to the England team for the final Test of the 1993 Ashes series. With Australia already 4-0 up it was a dead rubber, but he produced his first substantial innings for England by scoring 64 to help the team grab a consolation victory. This booked him a place on the subsequent tour of the West Indies. However, another string of low scores meant he was dropped and out of the selectors' plans. Ramprakash was not selected in the touring party for the 1994-95 Ashes series, but was chosen as vice-captain for the England A tour to India. However, an injury to Graeme Hick meant that he was flown out to play in the final Ashes Test scoring a useful 72. He was in and out of the England team over the next few years, never assured of selection but still scoring very heavily for Middlesex.

A breakthrough of sorts came in the 1997-98 Test series against the West Indies when he scored 154 in the fifth Test in Barbados.[5] It was his first Test century and it earned him regular selection for the England team for the next few years. While he scored a number of fifties against various teams (notably Australia), he was only able to add one more century to his tally - 133 against Australia at The Oval in the 2001 Ashes series. He was not picked again after England's tour of New Zealand in March 2002.

During the build-up to the final Ashes Test of 2009, with the series poised at 1-1, Ramprakash was widely touted in the press as a possible choice to improve the struggling England middle order, with a number of pundits, including Alec Stewart, suggesting his selection.[6] However, Jonathan Trott was selected instead,[7] going on to score a Test century on debut.[8]

At Surrey

In 2001, thoroughly disillusioned with the organisation at Middlesex, who were by now playing second division level cricket, he joined London rivals Surrey. His form improved markedly as a result. In the 2003 season, he became the first player to have scored a century against all 18 county teams, and completed the set with a century against his former county Middlesex. Only Carl Hooper and Chris Adams have since achieved this feat.[9]

Ramprakash became the first man to captain both Middlesex and Surrey when he stood in for the injured Mark Butcher at the start of the 2005 English cricket season. Butcher did not recover until the middle of August, and Ramprakash remained captain for most of the season. Ramprakash's move to Surrey, which some Middlesex members still carry a grudge about, seemed to backfire in 2005 when Surrey were relegated after a poor season. However, in their final Championship game, against Middlesex, who were also in danger of relegation themselves, Ramprakash gained consolation by hitting 252, sharing a Surrey record for a fifth-wicket partnership of 318 with Azhar Mahmood as Surrey made 686 for five declared, and duly won by an innings and 39 runs.

In 2006, Ramprakash, relieved of the unwanted burden of captaincy, displayed outstandingly good form, making a career-best 292 against Gloucestershire in May, then improving that still further with 301 not out against Northamptonshire in early August. Later that month against Worcestershire he made 196 in the first innings, and in the process passed 2,000 runs in first-class cricket for the summer in only his 20th innings (a record[10]). Ramprakash, the leading run scorer in 2006, was the first man to score 2,000 runs in a season since the Australian Mike Hussey in 2001, and the first Englishman to do it since Ramprakash himself back in 1995. He also became the first man to score over 150 runs in an innings in five consecutive matches.[11] He ended with 2,278 runs at an average of 103.54, only the sixth man to average over one hundred over eight or more completed first-class innings in an English season.[12] [13] Surrey gained promotion back into the first division. His excellent form led some commentators to say that the England selectors should consider him for that winter's Ashes tour: Mike Selvey called him "the best technician of his generation with a good record in trying circumstances in Australia" and said that he should be considered as a possible replacement for Marcus Trescothick. [14] He was not, however, chosen. His 2006 form also won him the Professional Cricketers' Association Player Of The Year Award [15] and selection as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.[16]

His fine form continued in 2007, and Ramprakash was once again the most prolific batsman in county cricket. He finished the season with 2,026 first class runs, including ten centuries, at an average of 101.30, becoming the only man to average over 100 in two consecutive English seasons.[17] His twin hundreds in the final game of the season, against Lancashire, are widely said to have ended Lancashire's hopes of winning the championship.[18] His form and professionalism led to further remarks that he should be recalled to the England side.[19] Ramprakash himself stated that whilst he found this attention flattering, he had more or less abandoned any hope of being recalled to the England team, given the present selection policy targeted towards youth.

In 2008 Ramprakash scored a century in his first innings of the season - his third consecutive first-class century, all against Lancashire - and another (his 99th) two matches later. He finally scored his 100th 100 against Yorkshire at Headingley on 2 August 2008, becoming only the 25th player to reach this mark. It mirrored his very first century, also scored at Headingley. He hit 200 not out vs Somerset to get his 101st first class hundred.

In 2009 there was, yet again, much media speculation that Ramprakash should receive an England call up for the final Test match of the 2009 Ashes series.[20] He averaged 90 for Surrey in 2009.[21]

In 2010, Ramprakash again emerged as county cricket's leading run-getter - albeit in the second division. After 16 matches and 28 innings he ended the season with 1595 runs at an average of 61.34, including 5 hundreds with a highest score of 248.

Ramprakash has now played 442 first class matches, 729 innings, and scored 34839 runs at an average of 54.6. Moreover, he has struck 144 fifties and 113 centuries with a best of 301 n.o. With those 113 hundreds he is at 16 in the all-time list of first class century-makers, just one behind Sir Viv Richards's 114 and four behind Sir Donald Bradman's 117.

Outside cricket

In 2006, Ramprakash and Karen Hardy won the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.[13] The couple beat Matt Dawson, former England rugby player, and Lilia Kopylova in the final. Ramprakash was the second consecutive cricketer to win the show, following former England team mate Darren Gough.

He is an supporter of the Arsenal Football Club and plays for the Arsenal Ex-Pros and Celebrities side.[22] He lived in Northwood, London, with his wife, Vandana (married in 1993 according to Hindu rituals in Birmingham[23]), and his two daughters, Cara and Anya;[24] but the couple were divorced in July 2010.[25]

On 9 March 2008, Ramprakash appeared on the CBBC show Hider in the House, setting up dad Ian Smeeton, with Ian's wife Wendy, two children Will and Pippa Smeeton, and their friend Dougy in Cambridge. He completed all his challenges.

In a special edition of Strictly Come Dancing for Sport Relief on 14 March 2008, Ramprakash and partner Kara Tointon were the winners after performing a samba. In 2008, he appeared on a special Strictly Come Dancing episode of The Weakest Link, being the fifth one voted off.

He used to be on the books of Watford F.C. as a schoolboy, but gave up the game to concentrate on his cricket. He also did a stint as a P.E. teacher at St. Martin's School, Northwood, in 2003, teaching football for a brief period as a consideration for a job after cricket.

References

  1. ^ Ramprakash sweeps up, from BBC Sports Academy, retrieved 26 September 2006
  2. ^ Simon Hughes (10 May 2008). "Mark Ramprakash nears historic milestone". London: The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/columnists/simonhughes/2299950/Mark-Ramprakash-nears-historic-milestone.html. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  3. ^ Colin Spiro (14 January 2008). "Mark Ramprakash reveals Aussie abuse". London: The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/cricket/2288912/Mark-Ramprakash-reveals-Aussie-abuse.html. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  4. ^ Hughes, Simon (10 May 2008). "Mark Ramprakash nears historic milestone". The Daily Telegraph (London). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/05/10/schugh110.xml. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  5. ^ 5th Test: West Indies v England at Barbados, 12-16 March 1998
  6. ^ Ramprakash in England contention. BBC Sport Website. Retrieved on 2009-08-10
  7. ^ Hopps, David (14 August 2009). "England drop Ravi Bopara and bring in Jonathan Trott for Ashes finale". The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/aug/14/jonathan-trott-ashes-debut-oval-test. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Wilde, Simon (23 August 2009). "Jonathan Trott century puts Ashes within reach". The Times (London). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/cricket/article6806478.ece. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  9. ^ Lynch, Steven (2006-10-02). "The fastest hundreds, and a Case history". Cricinfo. http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/asksteven/content/story/261028.html. Retrieved 2006-11-19. 
  10. ^ "Fewest Innings to Reach 2000 Runs in a Season". CricketArchive. http://www.cricketarchive.com/Archive/Records/England/Firstclass/Overall/Fewest_Innings_2000_Runs.html. Retrieved 2006-09-06. 
  11. ^ "Wisden Cricketer of the Year - Mark Ramprakash". CricInfo News. http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/287068.html. 
  12. ^ Lynch, Steven (2006-09-18). "Averaging 100, and hundreds in lost causes". Cricinfo. http://content-uk.cricinfo.com/ci/content/story/259809.html. Retrieved 2006-09-26. 
  13. ^ a b "Ramps dances to history". Surrey Advertiser. http://www.surreyad.co.uk/sport/?article18244. Retrieved 2006-09-26. 
  14. ^ Selvey, Mike (12 September 2006). "Six burning Ashes questions". The Guardian (London). http://sport.guardian.co.uk/columnists/story/0,,1870121,00.html. Retrieved 2006-09-14. 
  15. ^ "Ramprakash takes top player award". BBC News. 25 September 2006. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/5379978.stm. Retrieved 2006-09-26. 
  16. ^ Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, 2007 Edition, ISBN 978-1905625024.
  17. ^ Frindall, Bill (2009). Ask Bearders. BBC Books. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-84607-880-4. 
  18. ^ "Sussex close in on county crown". inthenews.co.uk. 2007-09-21. http://www.inthenews.co.uk/sports/autocodes/countries/pakistan/sussex-close-in-on-county-crown-$1138047.htm. Retrieved 2007-09-21. 
  19. ^ "How [the England selectors] can continue to overlook a fit, quick-footed, run-hungry batsman who has uniquely averaged over 100 in successive seasons beggars belief." From the preface, Frindall, Bill (2008). Playfair Cricket Annual 2008. Headline. ISBN 978 0 7553 1745 5. 
  20. ^ "Ramprakash in England contention". BBC News. 10 August 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/cricket/england/8192597.stm. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  21. ^ "Cricket Records | Season 2009 - Surrey | Records | First-class matches | Highest averages | ESPN Cricinfo". Stats.cricinfo.com. 1970-01-01. http://stats.cricinfo.com/countycricket2009/engine/records/batting/highest_career_batting_average.html?class=4;id=2009;team=1409;type=season. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  22. ^ Mark Ramprakash: What I've Learnt This Week, Independent, Retrieved on 2009-04-17
  23. ^ Connolly, Lucy (2010-04-16). "Ramprakash to divorce wife | The Sun |News". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/2935625/Ramprakash-to-divorce-wife.html?OTC-RSS&ATTR=News. Retrieved 2011-10-02. 
  24. ^ "Ramprakash: 'England have treated me unfairly for years'". The Independent (London). 2 October 2009. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/cricket/mark-ramprakash-england-have-treated-me-unfairly-for-years-1796158.html. Retrieved 12 May 2010. 
  25. ^ Over in 58 seconds: Mark Ramprakash granted 'quickie' divorce from wife Vandana, Mail Online. Retrieved 1 October 2010.

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Mike Gatting
Middlesex County Cricket Captain
1997–1999
Succeeded by
Justin Langer
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Darren Gough and Lilia Kopylova
Strictly Come Dancing Champion
(with partner Karen Hardy)

Series 4 (2006)
Succeeded by
Alesha Dixon and Matthew Cutler

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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