Test Match Sofa
Ramprakash to make Championship return at Horsham
By Mark Baldwin
Mark Ramprakash will be back in Surrey's County Championship side for the game against Sussex at Horsham, which starts on June 6.
The former England batsman, who will be 43 in September and is in what is likely to be his final (and 26th) season as a first-class cricketer, was dropped by Surrey two weeks ago after suffering against Worcestershire only the third pair of his long and distinguished career.
Since then, Ramprakash has been turning out for Middlesex League club Stanmore, who he played for in the 1980s, in a bid to find some form. In eight Championship innings this season, he has scored only 62 runs at an average of 7.75, with a top score of 24.
Surrey have drawn against Somerset and lost against Warwickshire in the two Championship matches Ramprakash has missed, but the replacement of South African batsman Jacques Rudolph by former India slow left-arm spinner Murali Kartik as the county's overseas player has opened up a window of opportunity for Ramprakash to make a comeback.
Chris Adams, the Surrey team director, confirmed today that Ramprakash would be recalled for the Sussex match. He said: "Yes, Ramps will come in for the game at Horsham and, with Kartik arriving now and Rudolph leaving us, it makes sense to bring Mark back in the top order.
"I have maintained all along that Mark is only one innings away from getting back to the player we all know and recognise. He had a tough start to the season, with batting conditions very difficult all around the country, but he looks in good shape to me.
"He's playing a few games for Stanmore, and will be getting in plenty of good red-ball practice before the Sussex match at Horsham. He's recently taken a blow on an elbow, which hasn't helped him, but he's playing again for Stanmore today and he's fine.
"With Kartik coming in to our Championship side it will give us a nice balance to our attack of three frontline seamers and two specialist spinners, plus the medium pace of Zander de Bruyn.
"Indeed, had Kartik been playing in the game against Warwickshire and bowling in tandem with Gareth Batty, who I don't think I've ever seen bowl so well, then I am sure the outcome would have been a different one."
Surrey do not have a match in the next round of Championship matches next week, and Adams believes the rest will do his whole squad a lot of good as they prepare for a very busy spell with CB40 and Friends Life t20 cricket either side of what will be a critical match at Sussex in the context of their Championship season.
Terms & Conditions
Developed by Proximity Solutions
Proximity PS Web
2007 - 2013