London: Mark Ramprakash has been appointed as England's new batting coach this week, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced Thursday. Ramprakash, 45, had long been tipped to be Graham Gooch's successor after the ex-England opener was axed earlier this year.
The former Middlesex and Surrey batsman emerged as the standout candidate when it became clear Graham Thorpe, who is highly valued at the ECB and previously worked as limited-overs batting coach under Ashley Giles, was reluctant to commit to England's gruelling tour commitments.
Ramprakash had previously worked with squad members at the National Performance Centre Loughborough and had already accepted an offer to travel with the England side for this month's one-day international tour of Sri Lanka. That trip will now mark his first series on head coach Peter Moores's permanent backroom team. "I am delighted to have appointed Mark as England batting coach," said ECB managing director Paul Downton.
"During his time with both England Lions (the national A side) and the senior teams he has proved a valuable addition to the coaching group," added the former England wicketkeeper, who played alongside Ramprakash at Middlesex. "Mark has formed excellent relationships with players and a strong partnership with Peter Moores and the management team and I have no doubt he will continue to have a positive impact as we begin an exciting winter of cricket."
Meanwhile Ramprakash said: "I am hugely excited to have been appointed England batting coach and am looking forward to building on the relationships I have established during the summer. "I will draw on my 25 years of experience as a cricketer but also am open to learning all the time. I feel we have a very exciting group of players and am relishing the opportunity to continue working with them."
As a player, Ramprakash is renowned as one of the very best to have appeared in domestic cricket in England, notching up 114 first-class centuries before his retirement at the age of 42. But his international performances never carried the same authority, with just two centuries in his 52 Tests and a solitary 50 in 18 ODIs. That record has not stopped him acquiring a strong reputation as a coach.
Ramprakash's will also bring valuable experience of playing international cricket to a set-up that currently lacks it in Moores, his deputy Paul Farbrace and Australian bowling coach David Saker.