London, Jul 6: Former England batsman Mark Ramprakash announced retirement from cricket on Thursday here at his home ground, The Oval.
"I'd like to formally announce my retirement from first-class cricket. I'd like to express how lucky I feel to have had such a long career," the 42-year-old Ramprakash said at a press conference at The Oval ground, which is Surrey county's headquarters.
Ramprakash started his career with Middlesex county and later moved to Surrey. This year, Surrey dropped Ramprakash from the side which might have prompted the right-hand batsman to call it a day.
"It's been a very difficult decision to make. I asked lots of professional players about when they knew the time was right. This year I wanted to come in and finish my career strongly and September would likely be the time that I'd look to pastures new. But not being in Surrey's plans that sort of moved things forward and the last thing you want to do is go on too long. I feel the time is right now," Ramprakash said.
However, he felt he could still play at this level. "I want to go out there now and play. I still feel I can play at this level without doubt, that's what I've trained for. Even though I was left out of the side, I've been committed to playing at this level."
He was a prolific run scorer in the county circuit. He is one of the only few to have registered 100 first class centuries.
Ramprakash could not blossom at the international stage. His bagful of runs in domestic circuit did not replicate for England. In 52 Tests, he averaged 27.32 with two hundreds and 12 fifties. He scored 2,350 runs in Tests. He also played 18 ODIs, scoring 376 runs with one half century.
"I've been asked about regrets in my England career many times, but you do the best you can. I couldn't have trained any harder and I did the best I could at that time. I went through many ups and downs, but did have some highlights," Ramprakash said.
In all, he featured in 461 first class games, registering 114 centuries and 147 fifties in a career spanning 25 years. He made his first class debut in 1987 for Middlesex.
His last first class game was for Surrey against Sussex on June 6 where he made 8 and 37. He finished his career with 35, 659 first class runs with a highest score of 301 not out. In 407 one day games, he scored 13,273 runs with 17 hundreds and 85 half centuries. He also played 63 Twenty20s.