The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Illy:Time for Thorpe to quit

London: Former England captain and chairman of selectors Ray Illingworth has said it is time for Graham Thorpe’s international career to be terminated after the Surrey batsman withdrew from the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia.

“It is a great shame because he is a fine player,” Illy told Wednesday’s Daily Express.

“But England have to say goodbye to him now,” the former Yorkshire and Leicestershire off-spinner,70, added.

Thorpe, who has completed only one tour in the past five, pulled out of the Ashes trip Tuesday saying he was not mentally fit. That was despite the 33-year-old left-handed batsman having made himself available after taking a break from all cricket earlier in the English season in a bid to resolve problems caused by the break-up of his marriage and arguments over access arrangements to his two young children.

Thorpe is widely regarded as England’s best middle-order batsman and has scored 5,109 runs in 77 Tests at an average of 41.87. But despite these factors Illingworth said the selectors now had to call time on Thorpe’s Test career. “You can’t have players around who are moping and worrying about problems at home, so it is best Graham is not going if that is the case.

“But I think he will regret the decision. He is 33 and won’t get another chance,” Illingworth said.

Ramprakash available

Meanwhile Mark Ramprakash has declared himself available to cover the gap caused by Thorpe’s decision to drop out.

“I’d love to go again,” Ramprakash said on Wednesday. “On the last tour of Australia (1998-99) I had a good record against the best team in history.”

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