Mark Ramprakash scored his 100th first-class hundred last weekend against Yorkshire using a bat he borrowed from his Surrey team-mate Scott Newman. Ramprakash scored his 99th hundred against Sussex at Hove in May, a performance that left the 38-year-old one innings away from becoming just the 25th player in the history of cricket to achieve the remarkable feat.
But disaster came soon after the hundred at Hove – Ramprakash broke his favourite bat. The former England player has always been particular about the weight, pick up and balance of the bat he uses and he tried five different pieces of willow before tripping over the blade that made him part of cricketing history.
Newman, the Surrey opener, is Ramprakash's practice partner. The pair prepare together at the start of each day, throwing cricket balls for each other to hit. At the end of a "throw down" session at Headingley Ramprakash picked up one of Newman's Gray Nicholls bats and liked how it felt, even though it was a couple of ounces lighter than the blade he normally uses. Newman suggested Ramprakash had a go with it in the match against Yorkshire and the rest, as they say, is history.
Newman is unlikely to get the bat back, and it could become a historic piece of wood. Many predict, with the changing landscape of cricket, that Ramprakash will be the last player to accumulate 100 hundreds.Reuse content