Fri, 06 Jul 2012 10:57:52 GMT | By AP

Mark Ramprakash announces his retirement

London: Former England international Mark Ramprakash retired from cricket on Thursday, ending a 25-year career in which the batsman failed to deliver on the test stage despite being one of the most prolific run-scorers ever in the domestic first-class game.

Mark Ramprakash announces his retirement

A sumptuous shot-maker in his pomp, Ramprakash's supreme technique helped him amass 35,659 runs at an average of 53.14 in an illustrious county career with Middlesex and Surrey. He made 114 first-class centuries, one of only 25 players to achieve that total.

However, in a stop-start 11-year test career with England, he averaged just 27.32 and scored only two centuries in 52 matches -- a poor return for a player who struggled to meet the high expectations placed on him at international level.

"I've been asked about regrets in my England career many times, but you do the best you can," the 42-year-old Ramprakash said. "I couldn't have trained any harder and did the best I could at that time."

Ramprakash called time on his lengthy career after losing his place in the Surrey first team this season.

"Mark Ramprakash is one of the greatest batsmen to ever grace the game of cricket," Surrey chairman Richard Thompson said.

"Both on and off the field, he had class, grace and eloquence and it is a testament to his incredible commitment and work ethic that he was able to continue as long as he did."

Many observers say Ramprakash was unlucky to play for England in the pre-central contract era of the 1990s -- when the national team chopped and changed its lineups, giving players little time to prove themselves.

He made his debut for England in 1991 in the test series against West Indies, alongside Graeme Hick -- another batsman with a wonderful county record who never produced his best on the international stage. It took Ramprakash 16 innings to make a 50 and he was in an out of the team throughout the '90s, when what he probably needed was a consistent run.

What is often forgotten, however, is that he averaged 42 in 12 tests against Australia and scored one of his two hundreds against England's fierce rival in the 2001 Ashes series.

"The best compliment I can give him is that he's the best technician the English game has had in the past 20 years," former England captain Michael Vaughan told the BBC. "Unfortunately he couldn't mentally get it right in the international game."

His last game for England was in 2002 but he continued to plunder runs at county level and retires having passed 1,000 first-class runs in 20 seasons. He passed the 2,000 mark in three of those.

His good looks and good movement helped him make a seamless transfer to the world of ballroom dancing, too -- he won the popular BBC show "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2006 -- but it didn't stop him excelling out in the crease.

"I feel lucky to have had a long playing career and I would like to think I can give something back to the game," Ramprakash said. "I am excited about what the future holds for me."

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