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Ravi Bopara is a cricketer of immense substance

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raviIn Sri Lanka’s last-ball win by just two runs in a Super Eights World Cup 2007 match on Wednesday, none could have been more proud than England’s Ravi Bopara, who showed himself to be a cricketer of immense substance, in spite of the fact that, at a month short of his 22nd birthday, he had never yet been in a situation to compare with the one he was thrust into on the day.

“I’m the type of guy who’ll go out and look at my areas and not get too emotional,” he said afterwards. “I just played the way I play for Essex.” That way had produced seven fifties and a hundred in 64 previous one-day games, but in his own words, the one that got away had left him “gutted”.

Bopara did at least collect a consolation prize — he was named Man of the Match for his efforts that brought him 52 runs, an award that he accepted with much the same sense of desolation that Wakefield’s Don Fox displayed at Wembley in 1968, after missing a final-minute sitter in the Challenge Cup final.

It was an acknowledgement of the coolness and promise of his youth, but it was also cruelly apposite for England’s performance as a whole — on Wednesday England played just about as well as they could, but they still came up short.

Aged 17, Bopara earned a professional contract with Essex in 2002, and he has never looked back. He made his first-team debut the same year. A top-order batsman, he can also chip in with some handy medium-pace bowling and he has been maturing with every match.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 6th, 2007 and is filed under World Cup 2007, Cricket Stars.

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