West Indies must turn talent into consistency, says Ambrose
LONDON – West Indies must find a way to turn the undoubted talent in their ranks into consistent performances that will win test series, former fast bowler Curtly Ambrose said on Thursday.
Ambrose, 51, is now coaching the Caribbean team’s bowlers and has been encouraged by their development.
“We have the talent, we just need to be consistent,” Ambrose told Reuters. “It is my job to help the bowlers achieve that consistency which will win test series.”
Ambrose took 405 test wickets in a stellar career, forming a formidable West Indies pace bowling attack with Courtney Walsh.
He was notorious for not giving much away to reporters but has now decided to tell his story in a book entitled “Time to Talk”.
“I did not like to speak about myself when I was playing,” he said. “I tried to do my talking on the field. But now it feels like the right time to tell my story.”
Ambrose grew up in Antigua and, with his immense height and controlled hostility, was one of the most feared bowlers in international cricket from 1988-2000 at the end of an era in which the Caribbean side dominated world cricket.
He believes that West Indies have found another diamond in the shape of Jason Holder, who is as tall as Ambrose.
“Jason Holder is a wonderful talent,” Ambrose said. “I know him very well and he has everything you need to be a top test cricketer.”
Holder, 23, captained the West Indies in this year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and he showed his ability with bat and ball in the 1-1 home test series draw against England.
Critics suggested that Holder has a technical fault in his bowling action, delivering the ball off a front leg that is not fully braced.
“(West Indies great) Malcolm Marshall and (Pakistani) Wasim Akram were the same,” he said. “It does not worry me. Jason needs to stand up taller and that will help him bowl fast.”
Ambrose is more concerned that Holder likes batting too much.
“Every time I see him he has a bat in his hand,” Ambrose said. “I want to see him with a ball. He is a bowler who bats. Not the other way round.”
Ambrose has lost none of his love for the game and intends to use it to help the West Indies improve.
“I love cricket and I am still very passionate about it,” he said.
“I don’t want to get involved in the politics of West Indies cricket but I want to help the team. I like to try to motivate the players and get them pumped up. That is what I can do.” – Reuters