Rating Mark Ramprakash’s career

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Mark Ramprakash hitting one ball - he did hit others

We long ago had our say about whether Mark Ramprakash could have been an England great if he’d been treated differently. Our stance is: ‘Well maybe, but that don’t change owt’.

Today, for once, we’d like to focus on what he DID achieve, because that was pretty extraordinary. Scoring 2,000 runs in a season again and again and hitting a hundred first-class hundreds. Batsmen like that don’t come around too often. Mark Ramprakash should be lauded without reservation.

Competing in a different event

If you look upon county cricket as being something separate, rather than being a step below Test cricket, then Ramprakash is all but peerless. We’re aware that view doesn’t entirely stack up, but at the same time, there are plenty of Test greats who couldn’t achieve what he did.

There’s a big difference between hitting an immaculate cover drive and compiling a century and there’s a similar gap in achievement between hitting 30 first-class hundreds and 114. The latter takes astonishing durability, endurance and relentlessness – not to mention a certain level of outright superiority for an extended span of time.

Mark Ramprakash hit two Test hundreds, but that was kind of a bonus. Hats off to one of county cricket’s greatest batsmen.


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  1. No player since Hick has had a career more defined by what they didn’t do than what they did. That’s a very difficult thing to achieve. I’m quite sure that Ramprakash suffered badly from the stupidity of English cricket in the 90s. He played 52 tests, every single one of them with a selector on his shoulder whispering what would happen if he failed in this innings right now. Nobody can bat to their full ability under that sort of pressure.

    Actually, that he could play at all with a selector on his shoulder is a marvellous testament to the strength in his legs and back. Think of the hours in the gym that must have needed. And the balance – selectors in those days were not slim. It’s all very well telling youngsters that they need to get their weight over their front foot when playing the drive, but that’s no mean feat when it’s someone else’s weight as well. I assume that it was not having someone sat on his shoulders that made him such a good ballroom dancer.

    So all in all, well done Mark Ramprakash – County Cricketer, All-In Dancer and Weightlifter sans pareil.

  2. I think he deserves most credit for not beating Ray Illingworth to death with his bat.

  3. Right, we’ve got this fantastic stroke-player joining the team, so we’re naturally going to put him in down the order. When we suffer our patented English Batting Collapse, he’ll be forced to come in and try and anchor the innings with the bowlers.

    1. Down the order?

      Ramprakash batted at every position from 2-7 (mostly 5 & 6, admittedly). And to be honest, at 5 or 6, he wasn’t *too* bad, averaging low 30s. Which compares well enough with everyone else that he was dropped for.

      The guy is just like Owais Shah – talented, but very spiky and too wound up to succeed at the highest level.

      I do wish cricketers would stop doing reality TV shows though. It should be beneath them. I want cricketers to have more discernment. They should leave that lowest common denominator rubbish to ex-football players.

  4. I like that he scored 27 in his first two Test innings then averaged 27 in Test cricket when he dropped for the final time.

    It’s almost like he did it on purpose.

  5. Oh – also, he had an imaginary friend called Jerry who only ever came out when he was really angry.

    (That is true.)

    1. Good fact. Facts like that are precisely why we runs this website.

      “Don’t make me any more angry than I already am, otherwise- Oh no, it’s happening. It’s happening again. Here comes Jerry.”


  6. Just think what a fantastic county player he’d have been if he hadn’t wasted all that time in the Test arena.

    I think it was Atherton who said that he admired the way that Ramps could go to county cricket and grind out runs around the country as it was a skill in itself to get up for meaningless games.

    1. Thinking about Ramps just reminds me of all that was wrong with English cricket in the 1990s, county and country.

      As the standard of county cricket improved, it is to Ramps’s credit that he was able to keep putting in the performances at 1st class level.

      But in history terms, someone who could have been a hall-of-famer ultimately will be a footnote.

  7. Is anyone else surprised that Ramprakash didn’t get to play more one-day cricket for England? Hick can at least point to a good limited overs record. Perhaps we might have seen a different Ramps in that form of the game.

  8. Another Ramps fact: His middle name is Ravin.

    I attended my first test match in 1993 and discovering this fact is the only thing that sticks in my mind.

  9. How many centuries in County Cricket does Sachin Tendulkar have? 112 less than Mark Ramprakash?

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