Mark Ramprakash sympathises with Sachin
Former England international Mark Ramprakash empathises from personal experience with the retirement decision that is soon to face India's great batsman Sachin Tendulkar.
Tendulkar is facing calls from some quarters to call it a day as his outstanding international career enters its twilight. England have restricted the Little Master to scores of 13, eight and eight in a Test series, which is level at 1-1 after the tourists’ famously unexpected victory in Mumbai. At the age of 39, Tendulkar's future has become a hot topic in the sub-continent especially.
It is all the more so, perhaps, after Ricky Ponting announced recently that the ongoing Perth Test against South Africa will be his last for
Australia. Ramprakash, scorer of 100 first-class hundreds, never quite scaled the heights of Tendulkar and Ponting in international cricket that his imperious performances at county level suggested he should.
When he retired almost six months ago, then aged 42, it was clearly one of the toughest calls of his life after a 25-year professional career. “When you have played the game with such dedication and professionalism as Sachin and Ricky Ponting - often they have put so much into the game - it can become difficult to realise ‘I am not on it as I usually am’,” he said. “It is almost as though they are on auto-pilot.
They train, they work hard and play and don’t know any different. Going on my own experience, it can be difficult to realise you might be one per cent off it mentally or physically with training... you are not quite on it - because you still believe you can do it. “It is a very difficult period for players who have played at the highest level to give up.
(Former England captain Andrew) Strauss or other players might be comfortable with it and know what they are going to do and enjoy doing something else. “For certain players, who are dedicated and played a long time, it can be difficult to know."
Ramprakash is in India in his new role to help coach England’s aspirants in the Performance Programme.