Mark Ramprakash is to return to the club for whom he made his debut as a 17 year-old back in 1987. The batsman, who played 52 Tests for England, will replace Mark O’Neill as Middlesex’s batting coach for the next two seasons. O’Neill has chosen to remain at home in Australia after three years service, during which time the club were promoted to Division One of the LV= County Championship.
Ramprakash was left out of Surrey’s Championship side midway through the 2012 season and announced his retirement when the club indicated that he would no longer be considered for selection. It brought the curtain down on a 26-year first-class career, which had seen him score over 35,000 runs and become probably the last ever batsman to reach the mark of 100 first-class hundreds. In all, he passed 1000 first-class runs in 20 of his 26 seasons, including 12 times on the trot between 1999 and 2010.
Commenting on his return to Middlesex, Ramprakash said, “I am delighted to have been invited back to Middlesex CCC to take up a coaching role at the club. It is a club I grew up watching and where I had 14 enjoyable seasons as a player.”
“Middlesex is the club that gave me the chance to achieve what I have in cricket and I am delighted to be able to return to work with and help the current and next generation of Middlesex cricketers. I am excited by the talent in the current crop of players and look forward to contributing to the club.”
The 43 year-old began his career at Lord’s in 1987 and spent 14 summers there before moving across the Thames to The Oval prior to the 2001 season. During the next 12 summers, he would average more than 100 on two occasions - in 2006 and 2007.
In 2009 there were whispers of an England recall at the age of 39 for the deciding Ashes Test, but Jonathan Trott was eventually preferred. It would mean that he would be forced to end a largely unfulfilling Test career with an average of 27.32 and only two centuries. He last played for England in early 2002 on their tour of New Zealand and returned to the county circuit to break countless records for Surrey before being unceremoniously dumped midway through 2012.
He will now return to Middlesex to coach their talented batting line-up as well as continuing his batting consultancy role with the ECB.
© Cricket World 2012
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