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    Mark Ramprakash announces retirement

    Mark Ramprakash, the former England batsman and county veteran, has announced his retirement with immediate effect. The decision brings to an end a 25-year career during which Ramprakash scored 114 first-class hundreds and 35,659 runs at 53.14 along with 13,273 runs in one-day cricket, making him the most prolific county batsman of modern times.Ramprakash’s announcement was made a day after the funeral of his team-mate, Tom Maynard, in Cardiff. At 42, Ramprakash is the oldest player in county cricket and his decision to retire has undoubtedly been influenced by the fact that he would have found it difficult to find a contract elsewhere.Having made his first-class debut for Middlesex in 1987, Ramprakash represented his home county in 211 matches, scoring 15,046 runs with 46 centuries, until 2001 when he moved to neighboring Surrey. In 159 matches for Surrey, he scored 15, 837 runs with 61 centuries. Those are incredible figures, and when you throw in 7445 runs at 38.57 from 239 one-day matches for Middlesex and 5070 at 46.94 from 134 with Surrey, you get a phenomenal batsman. His highest first-class score was an unbeaten 301 in 2006, which came in an outstanding season during which he had already scored 292. Ramprakash could well end up being the last batsman to score 100 first-class centuries as well. Ramprakash’s was a career of epic proportions on the country circuit but one ultimately unfulfilled when you consider his international record. Despite his outrageous batting talent Ramprakash was never able to make a place for himself in England’s Test teams down the years, and an average of 27.32 from 52 Tests, with just two centuries, underlines the air of underachievement that surrounds his name. Those 52 caps were spread from 1991 to 2002, when he played his final Test in New Zealand. He was in May dropped by Surrey for the first time since he joined the club 11 years ago, having made just 62 runs in eight innings this season, including a pair against Worcestershire. His last appearance for Surrey was a rain-hit County Championship match against Sussex that concluded June 9. Opening the innings in what proved to be the final match of his illustrious county career, Ramprakash scored 8 and 37 in a ten-wicket defeat.Ramprakash’s career highlights:- Scored 1,000 runs in an English season 20 times, passing 2,000 runs three times, in 1995, 2006 and 2007. - Became the first man to score 2,000 runs and average more than 100 twice, in 2007. - In 2006 he scored 2,000 in 20 innings and posted scores of at least 150 in five consecutive matches.- Scored his 100th first-class century against Yorkshire at Headingley in 2008- Scored two Test centuries - 133 against Australia at the Oval in 2001, 154 against West Indies in Bridgetown in 1997-98. - Highest first-class score of 301* in 2006