Search

Cricket: Bopara happy to do his bit for Essex

PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2018

Ravi Bopara in batting action for Essex against Lancashire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ravi Bopara in batting action for Essex against Lancashire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Ravi Bopara resisted the opportunity of the early birthday present of a first-class century when he could have selfishly opted for an early-evening thrash at the Ageas Bowl.

Ravi Bopara in bowling action for Essex against Hampshire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Ravi Bopara in bowling action for Essex against Hampshire (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Bopara, who reaches the grand old age of 33 today, could have batted on for the remaining 13 balls of the match at Hampshire and raised his bat for the 28th time in red-ball cricket. But he refused the chance of cheap runs and opted to honour the declaration when Essex reached 300 and secured their third batting point from the weather-wrecked draw.

With 16 runs required to reach three figures, captain Ryan ten Doeschate left it up to Bopara whether he wanted to carry on in the middle. The Essex all-rounder said: “When I looked up at the dressing room when we reached 300, Tendo indicated, ‘Do you want to go for you hundred?’

“I didn’t want to score a hundred in that situation where the target had been achieved before the overs were finished. I didn’t want to go, ‘You know what, I’ll slog the last two overs and hopefully get to a hundred’. It’s not the way I want to do it. Every hundred you score in first-class cricket is a big deal.

“I would have backed myself to get the extra 16 runs with the 12 balls remaining. But those runs wouldn’t have felt like a graft. In a proper game, those last 16 runs would be hard work. I just wanted to help the team get to 300, that was the most important thing. That was the focus and what the whole of that innings was about – not me getting a hundred – and we achieved that.”

Ravi Bopara in Royal London One Day Cup kit during the Essex CCC Press Day (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Ravi Bopara in Royal London One Day Cup kit during the Essex CCC Press Day (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

It must have been tempting. Bopara has scored just one red-ball ton in nearly four years: the 192 compiled against Warwickshire in last year’s surge to the Specsavers County Championship title.

“I wasn’t fazed whether I got a hundred or not. I know I’m going to score hundreds. I know they’re coming; they’re round the corner. I’ll get a few this year. And not only this year, but in the years to come for Essex,” he added.

Essex play Yorkshire at The Cloudfm County Ground today with the memory of the four-day wash-out at Headingley fresh in the mind.

“Headingley was a loss,” Bopara insisted. “Five points was not good for us, especially being defending champions. So we’ve got a bit of work to do. We’re sitting fourth in the table having played a game extra than some of the other teams.

“But it’s very early days. We have just one point less than we had after three games last year. We came good from around this time last year. I feel it starting to happen again. The batters are in a good place, Jamie’s still bowling really well, Harmer’s still bowling really well, and we’re back here this week at Chelmsford, which is a little fortress for us at the moment.”

Not only is it Bopara’s birthday, he also reaches the milestone of 200 first-class career appearances. “That’s a lovely achievement,” he said. “I thought I would have played more than 200, but there was a period where I was playing for England and missed a few games.”

Bopara is playing throughout the year. During the winter he helped Rangpur Riders to the Bangladesh Premier League title and Karachi Kings to the last four in the Pakistan Super League.

In between he played in the Hong Kong T20 as well as playing in the final of the Sharjah T10 tournament for Punjabi Legends. Bopara is a fan of the shortest short-format game.

“White-ball cricket is moving fast and if you don’t keep up with it you’ll be left behind. You can’t just sit it out and think you can come back and catch up. You need to keep playing,” he added.

“Nothing rivals football, but T10 puts it on a level where it’s just 90 minutes’ play. Speaking as a cricketer I think it’s a perfect length for a game. It’s fast, it’s furious, there’s lots and lots of boundaries, every over is a death over.

“As a bowler you know you could easily go for six sixes because you’ve got proper batsmen against you. People can go for 25 an over and they’re shrugging their shoulders like it’s normal. It’s great for the whole family.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

FA Trophy: Ebbsfleet United 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

Yesterday, 18:00

Everyone Active Raiders head coach Sean Easton wants his side to maintain their momentum as they welcome Swindon Wildcats to Romford’s Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre on Sunday (5.30pm).

Yesterday, 17:00

Boro without a win in their last nine league matches, including a 2-0 loss at Witham Town last weekend

Yesterday, 16:00

Defender set to come against former club as Essex club make trip south of the Thames in FA Trophy

Yesterday, 15:00

The second-placed club in the London Two North East will aim to finish 2018 with another win on Saturday

Yesterday, 14:00

AFC Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson is desperate to get a win under his belt before the Christmas break to get him in the festive cheer.

Yesterday, 13:00

West Ham United chase an unprecedented fourth straight win in the Premier League when they visit struggling Fulham on Saturday.

Yesterday, 11:00

Upminster’s women produced their best-ever display at the East Indoor Championships to finish runners-up to Bedford at UEA on Sunday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now