Ambrose feels former players were not involved enough in Windies cricket He said the biggest achievement was representing the West Indies
By Sean Devers
As predicted by most cricket-savvy people, the depleted West Indies has lost all three ODIs in Bangladesh and the frail batting line does not inspire much hope when they face a kidney clash A much tougher test as they face Bangladesh in a series Two Tests starting next month.
When asked why he thinks past players, especially those who played between 1980 and 1995, when the West Indies never lost a single series, performed outstandingly in all conditions while the current crop in its struggling to win games, 57-year-old former West Indies fast bowler – former Curtly Ambrose gives his opinion on this and other issues related to his life and West Indies cricket while speaking on Sports Watch Sean Devers on Kaieteur Radio.
“Let’s be real here, people continue to compare these guys to the players from the glory days we had from the mid-1970s and mid-90s…. that is a span of 20 years. Finding players of that caliber again will be extremely difficult.
I’m not saying we don’t have talented players in the Region … we do, but how do you find players like the Viv Richards, Brian Lara, Gordon Greenidge, Malcolm Marshall … it’s very difficult.
So I don’t like to compare the guys today with those guys … It’s a different age. Cricket has changed significantly and we can only use what we have now.
Who we have now, we have to work with them and try to find ways for them to improve, win games, win series and move up the ICC rankings, ”said Ambrose, who grabbed 405 wickets from 98 of Test matches; only Jamaican Courtney Walsh has more among the West Indies.
Ambrose, who hails from Village of Sweets in Antigua, has 255 scars from 176 ODIs and 941 wickets from 239 first-class matches in a career that spanned 1985 when he made his first appearance against Guyana in Bourda to 2000 when he played his last ODI against England at the Oval.
“I think where we went wrong was many years ago when we were the best team in the world. I do not think that the West Indies Cricket Board or the territorial boards did anything to nurture and harvest the talent that we had. I think they just sat back and believed that we would continue to produce great cricketers while the rest of the world put things in motion … Academies and things like that … as we point out and as we see it now all the other countries have moved on from us and we are now paying the price for not putting Academies and things in place, ”Ambrose continued that he never played youth cricket and never received formal training.
Ambrose performed well academically, especially in maths and French, and became a carpenter’s apprentice when he left school at the age of 17. “Basketball is still my first love and I wanted to move to the US if my dad and most of my family members lived. . I wanted to go to College and play in the NBA but my mother encouraged me to get more involved in cricket, ”said Ambrose who made his first appearance at the English County Championship in Northamptonshire in 1989.
When South Africa came back in their Test in 1992 in a lone Test against the West Indies, Ambrose’s devastating 24.4-7-34-6 scripted a famous victory in the West Indies. Setting a modest 201 for victory, South Africa ended the fourth day at 122 for two. On the fifth day they could add just 26 more runs in the historic game in Barbados.
Ambrose, who defeated England 6-24 in England for 46 in Trinidad in 1994, and his 7-1 serial spell against Australia in the WACA the previous season, spoke of the importance of fields to player development as he explains bowling at Antigua Maes Leisure.
“In the headphones, the REC used to be a good pitch for bowling with good bounce and speed but if you were a good batsman you could score runs as well, but in the 90s it got slower due to the change in terrain and on back and while it went slower and flatter and became good for batting and hard work for the bowlers, but initially it was a good cricket pitch.
Viv Richards sir Stadium is not quite the same. There are days when it’s good for batting and days when the ball bounces and jams. What I find in the Region is the fields have deteriorated so badly that the players are no longer playing the short ball very well. The fields are low and slow and the ball is hardly bouncing above your waist but when we go overseas now and the ball is bouncing above the waist, we can’t survive short bowling that doesn’t style of play us.
We have to get bouncy tracks back in the Caribbean so our batters can learn to play fast bowling and learn to grab and cut but I don’t think the turf is the main problem. From my experience of being around fields and things and being around the cultivators … you can’t tell them anything, they have this idea that they know everything. When you say about doing a little more or a little more grass the first thing they ask is what you know about plots and I don’t think they know what they are do it. Many times I hear them say it will be a bouncy track with bounce and jumper but the track is flat, ”the 6-foot-8-inch controller lamented.
The legendary ruler feels that former players of West Indies cricket are not adequately involved.
“I have always known from the time I left cricket that I wanted to give back to West Indies cricket since I learned so much playing for so many years and gained so much knowledge and I want to help Indian cricket ‘ r West… and when I say West Indies cricket I mean Antigua, Barbados, Guyana and have made that known. Yes, I’ve been involved here and there but in the general scheme of things, we as ex-players are not involved enough but it’s not our call … you want to give back but the people in charge we make the decisions so we wait, ”Ambrose explained whether Windies bowling coach was for a short time.
“My biggest achievement in sport was representing the West Indies because being able to represent your country in anything is the greatest honor and privilege, especially as I never wanted to be a cricketer, so represent the West Indies team on playing for Antigua and then the Leeward Islands and being so successful is my proudest moment, ”said Ambrose who never played club cricket until he was 20.
Ambrose, who is among only 15 pacers with over 400 wickets in the history of Test cricket that started in 1877, was the fifth bowler in the world to reach that landmark he says his success with the ball is largely because of his pride in being a West Indian. Sir Richard Hadley, Kapil Dev, Courtney Walsh and Wasim Akram were the only bowlers to reach the milestone ahead of Ambrose.
“I wanted to be the best so I would say pride was my biggest asset,” said Ambrose who now plays bass Guitar for a band called Spirted with the same members and two women added to the first band he played for it called. ‘The fear and the ball head.
During the first Benson and Hedges Cup Final, Dean Jones asked Ambrose to remove the sweat band from his right wrist, as the ball camouflaged in the process. He obliged, but his body language changed. An irritated Ambrose ran through the Australians with 5 for 32. Australia lost by 25 runs.
“The West Indies in my time never sled anyone. We dominated and let the ball and bat do the talking, ”Ambrose said as he was reminded of that game.
Ambrose explained how he started playing music. “I always wanted to be in a band when my cricket days were over and before he was Captain of the West Indies, Richie Richardson would always travel with his Guitar, play the bass Guitar in their hotel room and I would beats the table to relax after a day on the pitch, ”added Ambrose who said he hopes the West Indies will be more competitive in the Test series.