Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ramping up again

Stephen Brenkley, the Independent’s cricket correspondent, was making an extremely strong case on TMS for the inclusion of Mark Ramprakash into the Sri Lanka tour in November. He based his argument on the following fact: he is the best batsman in England.

Apparently, for him, that’s ‘nuff said. Which is fair enough, frankly. Yet, people were making the same argument at the end of the 2006 season. I think even Tim, from Third Umpire, was advocating his use during the Winter Ashes.

The idea was dismissed at the time. “He’s old” they said. “He’s had many chances before. He wilted. He’s old news.” Even I accused him of being a Harmsprakash.

And then Ramps went to repeat his batting dominance in the 2007 season in the First Division. Total dominance of all bowling attacks that he faced. He is the Don of the Domestic Game. Consequently, new force is being brought into the pro-Ramps arguments.

2006 was not just a blip; class is permanent. And, without doubt, Ramps proved that he was the classiest in the county circuit.

The anti-Ramps, continued their arguments. “No good at international level, though. Besides, it’ll be a step backwards – we need to build a team for the future.”

Yeah, but if he does perform, under this new enlightened regime, I wouldn’t say no to his runs. Even Owais Shah has publicly said that he’d be perfectly happy to give way to the Surrey run-machine.

It’s not an easy one. Surely Ramps’ mental attitude has improved? Yet, I’m all for giving youth a chance and building for the future. I think if one of the senior players, like Michael Vaughan or Kevin Pietersen was out, then there would be a very strong case for him. But to lose Owais Shah, who is ten years younger, may be too costly in the long term.

(Has anyone else heard Brenkley? Is he really a journalist, or is he just Mark from the Peep Show in a radio incantation. I think that it’s all a bit creepy. Although, I think calculators are creepy too. What do I know?)


Uncle J rod said...

And he can dance.

Stuart said...

He would be worth trying again - even at his age you could get another two good seasons out of him if he performs.

Whereas Caddick is just talking out of his proverbial about his own return to the side. He is on his last legs, and there is no value in returning to him.

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