Cricket star Mark Ramprakash made up more than 32,000 of his career 35,000 runs, an investigation by the ECB’s dubious runs committee has revealed.
Investigators have pored over 4,350 hours of cricket footage and taken statements from dozens of angry fans amid claims that most of the runs scored by the former England batsman were accumulated by other players or, incredibly, just didn’t happen at all.
“Alarm bells started ringing as early as 2006,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board investigator Craig Telford. “Our dubious run committee has been monitoring the activity of Mr Ramprakash for some time now and certain, shall we say, irregularities, have come to light.”
A secret five-year investigation has revealed: cricket scores being fabricated by players; umpires colluding in match fixing; and on at least 36 separate occasions entire matches completely made up while the players pursued other interests.
Mr Telford said: “Rather than go through the motions of playing four-day games in front of a dozen of so cricket fans, we discovered players would bribe the fans to leave the ground before abandoning the game and filling in the score sheets with a random accumulation of runs.
“Mr Ramprakash’s undoing was his greed. While other players happily filled in a few low 60s and 70s, Ramps would pencil in century after century. At one stage he was hitting 250 plus every other innings, racking up an impossible run rate.”
Investigators claim their evidence explains how the former Middlesex batsman could pursue a TV dancing career and yet still end the county cricket season with a record-breaking stack of runs.
“I mean, come on – 35,000 runs! It’s clear the player was just making it up,” said Mr Telford. “And with no-one bothering to turn up to watch the matches, or being given bungs to push off, he could get away with it.
“While Mr Ramprakash was claiming to have hit a record-breaking 334 against Somerset, we have clear footage of his doing the Argentinian tango with Strictly Come Dancing partner Karen Hardy in Blackpool. It’s an absolute scandal.”
Ramprakash was unavailable for comment. A spokesman for his current club Glamorgan said he was resting having scored 283 not out by lunch, before taking nine wickets, seven catches and two stumpings.