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Friday, January 30, 2009

Ramprakash agrees new Surrey deal

Veteran batsman Mark Ramprakash has signed a two-year extension to his contract with Surrey.

The deal will run until the end of the 2011 season when he will be 42.

Ramprakash, who joined Surrey from Middlesex in 2001, has scored almost 32,000 first-class runs and last summer hit his 100th century.

"I have had a fantastic career up until now but still feel like I have much more to give. There is a huge amount of runs left in me," he said.

Ramprakash's main task this summer will be to try and help Surrey win promotion back to County Championship Division One at the first attempt following their relegation last season.

Since then, major changes have taken place at The Oval with former Sussex captain Chris Adams brought in as Professional Cricket Manager.

And he has no doubt that Ramprakash will justify his new contract by continuing his prolific scoring.

"Mark's record in recent years has been simply staggering and I am over the moon that he has decided to extend his career with us.

"Statistics like those he has accumulated throughout his career simply do not lie and I look forward to watching him score thousands more runs and working with him to secure Surrey's future as a successful club for many years to come," Adams told the Surrey website.

Ramprakash played 52 Tests for England between 1991 and 2002 but only managed two centuries at international level and an average of 27 was well below what was expected from a player of his ability.

He showed his versatility by winning the BBC's Celebrity Come Dancing title in 2006 but it was only a brief diversion from his cricket career.

And he now wants to help "shape a new era" for Surrey, "both at the crease and in the dressing room".

He added: "Surrey have a number of exciting young batsmen and it's now down to me, and other experienced players at the club, to work with the management team to help them use their talent and succeed in the professional game."

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