Mark Ramprakash’s decision to extend his remarkable Surrey career until he is 43 is based on the belief that the next couple of years will be very exciting ones at the Kia Oval.
The former England batsman, who is currently recovering from a serious knee injury sustained while playing football in November last year, has scored 15,030 first-class runs for Surrey at an average of 74.40, with an astonishing 60 centuries.
He has extended his current contract by one year, to the end of the 2012 season, even though he does not expect to be back in action for Surrey until the end of May at the earliest.
Rehabilitation work is going well, following an operation to repair the cruciate ligament injury, but Ramprakash is as determined not to rush his recovery as he is about adding to his proud tally of 113 first-class hundreds.
“It’s nearly 15 weeks now since the operation and I’m doing a lot of swimming and pool work as well as work in the gym,” he said. “The programme at the moment is all about strengthening the knee, but I need to get much stronger yet.
“I’ve hit a few throw-downs, though, and I can squat and lunge but there is still a way to go and it would be foolish to try to come back too early.”
Ramprakash admits he is excited about the prospect of helping Surrey to climb out of the depths of the County Championship’s second division, and feels the team will be much stronger this season than in recent years.
“Under Chris Adams and Rory Hamilton-Brown, Surrey have a very exciting young side who I feel have the capability to win trophies over the next two years,” he added.
“Helping them to achieve their potential will be both enjoyable and rewarding and I look forward to playing my full part.”
Surrey professional cricket manager Adams added: “Mark Ramprakash is the finest domestic batsman of his generation and still has a huge amount to offer Surrey.
“To have a man with his ability, experience and energy in your dressing room is simply something that cannot be bought and I look forward to continue working with him for the next two seasons.”