Tell us what you think of the new cricket section at whatdoyouthink@bskyb.com

Don't show again

Ramps reflects

Ramps reflects on a memorable career

Last Updated: 26/07/12 7:51am

Mark Ramprakash told Cricket AM he is proud of his career and has no regrets about the way it ended.

"If I knew then what I know now I would have approached things differently, but I'm comfortable in the fact that I know I left no stone unturned to try and be the best I could be. "

Mark Ramprakash

Quotes of the week

The former Surrey and England batsman has enjoyed an incredible past few seasons on the county scene but this year found himself out of form and out of favour at the Oval.

Realising his county were looking to younger prospects for the future Ramprakash opted to call time on a career which, without a doubt, featured plenty of highs and lows.

"This year I had a difficult start to the season and when I was left out of the side Surrey said to me they were no longer looking in my direction, so I had to assess the circumstances and say 'for the rest of season I'm not going to play any professional cricket'," said Ramprakash.

"Initially I was looking to play on. Surrey have had some very difficult circumstances to deal with this year and I was looking to finish the season strongly. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way.

"But I'm not going to quibble over a couple of months; I've had a long career and I've been very lucky to stay pretty much injury free.

"I've seen a lot of players go out of the game in a negative way, an unhappy way, and happily I'm not one of those."

Reflecting on his career Ramprakash picked out his 1998 154 in the Caribbean, his first Test hundred, as the ultimate highlight.

"Most people would say their debuts for their county and country would be the highlights of their career.

"Of my centuries I remember my first one up at Headingly really well. I'd been out the previous night with Mike Gatting for fish and chips and the next day scored a breakthrough 100 at first class level. That is of course always important and any player who makes runs when the team needs them will say how satisfying that is. We went on to win the game and I'll always remember that.

"But for me, given the ups and downs I've had, when I managed to make 100 in Barbados for England, that's my highlight. It's what every kid aspires to do."

England challenge

Throughout much of his career Ramprakash was in and out of the England side, unable to establish himself in the squad. However, he believes those challenges showed his mental determination and gave him the desire to get better, which led to such an impressive final third to his career in the county game.

"I was picked and dropped about 10 million times for England," he said. "Every time you're dropped and then picked again the pressure increases but I think I did incredibly well to stick with it, keep going back and working at my game and keep my enjoyment of the game and keep wanting to represent England.

"Through those ups and downs I think I showed a lot of mental toughness to keep coming back. It does help when players are backed - and that's why the current set up is paying dividends.

"If I knew then what I know now I would have approached things differently, but I'm comfortable in the fact that I know I left no stone unturned to try and be the best I could be. I trained hard, I tried to listen to people but that was the way things went.

"It was a tough start, being selected to play against West Indies as a 19-year-old in 1991. When you get selected for international cricket of course you can't pick and choose that, but I think now the management are much better at bringing in players and settling them in. The structure at the moment is great - the consistency of selection, too - and you're seeing players come into the side and immediately feel relaxed, and that helps them go out and perform on the pitch."

Excelled

However, while he struggled on the international stage, Ramprakash excelled domestically, scoring 114 first class hundreds and averaging over 100 in the 2006 and 2007 seasons. He made 2000 runs in each of those two summers and puts his success down to hard work and experience.

"A combination of factors came together in those seasons," he said. "Obviously it was down to a lot of hard work, I'd kept myself fit and also I'd seen a lot of things by then.

"In my thirties I think I got a good balance between being focussed and relaxed. I've been so lucky to play the game for such a long time, enjoy it and retain that love for the game.

"And when I moved away from Middlesex I moved away from the slope at Lord's - and that helped too! The Oval is nice and flat!"