‘Ambi’ speaks out on CCC decision

ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has responded for the first time to criticisms over his decision to work with Combined Campuses & Colleges (CCC), a first-class cricket team based in Barbados.

Ambrose, who said he has enjoyed his stint with CCC, said he has never been asked by Antigua & Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) to work with the national team in an official capacity despite having stated his desire to do so.

“For me, I can’t just walk into a camp and decide to just take over the coaching. I have always said for 13 years since I stopped playing cricket, or even before that, that when I finished, I would really like to get involved with helping Antigua cricketers to get better and nothing was ever done,” Ambrose said.

“I used to help out the Antigua & Barbuda national team when Hugh Gore was the manager and John Archibald was the coach. We used to do a lot of work with the guys and when Winston Benjamin was the coach as well we used to do a lot of work with the guys and then when those guys were no longer the coaches, that was it. I was never asked to help or anything which I found was strange.”

The right-arm pacer added that his services were also not sought at the sub-regional level but said it is time to move on and concentrate on more positive things.

“I have been to Leeward Islands camp here in Antigua; sat there and watched the guys doing their stuff and nobody ever once asked me for an opinion and I am not going to just jump into a man’s camp and then be embarrassed,” Ambrose said.

“Two years ago, CCC or Floyd Reifer and Sir Hilary Beckles called me from the CCC and asked me to be part of the CCC set-up because they figured I have a lot to offer which I accepted. From the very day I accepted that job, the whole of Antigua start make noise about ‘oh, he sell out and he gone a CCC’ and I said, ‘but I have been here for 13 years.’”

Ambrose was named part of the CCC coaching staff in February 2012. The Antiguan represented the West Indies between 1988 and 2000 and is one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game. He played 98 Test matches and took 405 wickets at 20.99 runs apiece. His best bowling figures were eight for 45 against England in Barbados in 1990.

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