Mark Ramprakash is best known for his formidable and extraordinary talents as a cricketer. He started playing cricket for Middlesex at the tender age of 17, proceeding to captain England Under-19. He moved on to the senior stage representing England. Whilst his Test career was cut short by the vagaries of the Selection Committee, he remained a prolific player for Middlesex and Surrey. At county level he was regarded as the top player in the country making over 100 first class centuries. He has recently become the batting coach for the successful England Test Team that won back the Ashes in Summer 2015.
In 2006 he showcased another talent contesting in BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. The reserved, enigmatic man of cricket took England by storm shimmying and strutting in slinky unbuttoned shirts to finally win series championship. He modestly put it down to discipline in training that was ingrained in sportsmen.
Brought up in Harrow, educated at Gayton High School and then Harrow Weald Sixth Form College, Mark's earliest memories are of his father bowling a plastic ball to his plastic bat. At a young age he excelled at both football and cricket, playing for Watford FC. It is cricket's gain that he eventually chose a career in the sport. Mark was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2013 New Year Honours for services to sport.
OKA is delighted and honoured to have him as a patron of the charity.
Amish is a diplomat and author.
Amish published his first book in 2010 and has written 10 books (both fiction and non-fiction) till date. His books have sold 6.5 million copies and been translated into 20 Indian & international languages. His Shiva Trilogy is the fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history. His Ram Chandra Series (4 of 5 books released) is the second-fastest-selling book series in Indian publishing history. Critics have said that his books are backed by tremendous research, deep thought, a rooted-pride in India, and a liberal progressive outlook.
Amish has been listed among the 50 most powerful Indians by India Today magazine in 2019. Forbes India has regularly ranked Amish among the top 100 most influential celebrities in India. Amish was also selected as an Eisenhower Fellow, a prestigious American programme for outstanding leaders from around the world, in 2014. He won the 21st Century Icon Award in the UK in 2021 and the Golden Book award for his novel Suheldev in 2022.
He is also a host for TV documentaries, including for Discovery TV’s highly acclaimed and award-winning Legends of the Ramayan with Amish.
In his diplomatic role, Amish works as the Minister (Culture & Education) at the Indian High Commission to the UK and the Director of The Nehru Centre in London.
Amish is an alumnus of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta; He received the Eminent Alumnus Award from IIM-Calcutta in 2017. He worked for 14 years in the financial services industry before turning to writing.
Amish is a voracious reader, reading 5-6 books on average every month. He is a music aficionado and was the lead singer in his college band in IIM-C. He was an active sportsperson, particularly in boxing and gymnastics, in his school and college days.