August 2, 2008 / 3:20 PM / 11 years ago

Ramprakash hits 100th first class century

LONDON (Reuters) - Mark Ramprakash became the first player in a decade to reach 100 first-class hundreds when he hit his third century of the season during Surrey’s county championship match against Yorkshire at Leeds on Saturday.

The 38-year-old is the 25th player to achieve the feat and the first since another former England batsman, Graeme Hick, in 1998.

Ramprakash started the season with 97 centuries but had been stuck on 99 since April 30, having begun the campaign with hundreds against Lancashire and Sussex.

Coincidentally he also registered the first century of his career at the same Headingley ground in July 1989.

“When I started out I never dreamed about making that many hundreds but I’ll certainly take it now,” Ramprakash was quoted as saying by the BBC.

“I feel honoured to join such a high calibre of names who have also achieved the feat. It’s definitely something I’ll cherish for the rest of my days.”

Ramprakash started his playing days with Middlesex in 1987 and is regarded as one of the finest batsmen of his generation.

However, he struggled to realise that potential during his 52 appearances for England. He averaged 27.32 in a test career spanning 11 years from 1991.

Ramprakash left Middlesex for Surrey in 2001 and has scored prolifically in recent seasons, passing the 2,000-run mark in 2006 and 2007.

Those efforts earned him the Professional Cricketers’ Association Player of the Year award in 2006 and the Wisden Cricketer of the Year award the following season.

The only other players in the last 20 years to reach the milestone of 100 first-class hundreds are West Indian great Viv Richards and former England opener Graham Gooch.

Editing by Tony Jimenez

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