Brian Carpenter links to a wonderful article by Simon Hughes on Mark Ramprakash. I too remember Ramps making his start in county cricket and thinking that he would soon dominate world cricket:
Even though I belong to the apparently small group of people who feel
that it would have been a retrograde step to bring Ramprakash back into
the England side in the last few seasons, Hughes's excellent article
has many resonances for me. In 1988 I was a Middlesex supporter and was
at Lord's for Ramprakash's heroics in the NatWest Final. Indeed I still
have a scorecard which he signed for me at a reception afterwards in
the Lord's Banqueting Suite.
Those of us who knew what he could
do then were among the most disappointed by what came afterwards, but
we'll surely be among those who raise a glass highest when the
inevitable hundredth hundred comes.
I share your disappointment, Brian. But surely that doesn't mean that it's too late now? From Hughes' article, a telling moment for me:
When he moved
to Surrey in 2001 the coaches ascertained that he conformed to one
of 16 classic psychological types - introverted and prone to
occasional hissy fits. They were sensitive and made allowances. At
the same time he developed self-awareness through coaching. "I
completed the level-four coaching course last year," he says.
"I really enjoyed that and I've got a lot out of it which
I can take into playing. For instance, in the first two weeks we did
a management course where you learn about being with people and
relating to different personalities. It's made me more aware of
myself too. I wish I'd done that at 21."
It's too easy to be cynical about these things. Coaching does matter, and perhaps learning how to coach matters more.
Meanwhile, Ottayan spots a link to Mascarenhas' version of the real reason behind all the announcements about not wanting to join the IPL from English county player. The counties have not "given" permission.