Ramprakash joins elite club with 100th first-class century
Monday 04 August 2008
Mark Ramprakash, one of England's great unfulfilled batting talents, became just the 25th player to score 100 first-class centuries with his hundred on the final day of Surrey's drawn Championship match at Yorkshire on Saturday.
His final career achievements may score few points when gauged on Test cricket alone, with just two of those scores made at that level, but his relative failure on the international stage betrays his rare talents.
Ramprakash seemed destined for greatness when he burst on to the scene as a teenager with Middlesex. Despite his modest England record, he has had few rivals throughout a career now in its 22nd season.
Ramprakash could probably have benefited from the stability of a central contract. Yet his chances came and went mostly before England went full-time and since then the selectors have always found a younger, less battle-scarred batsman to pick ahead of him. Many have asked why that is – because since being jettisoned for the final time in 2002 he has been the best batsman in the country bar none.
In 2006 he became the first man since himself, a decade earlier, to top 2,000 runs in an English season and he did so at an average of more than 100. He repeated the feat last year, becoming the first player ever to do so two seasons in succession.
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