Legendary West Indies fast bowler Sir Curtly Ambrose was typically content to let the ball do the talking but recently recalled an occasion when he was tempted to let his fists answer a few questions of their own.
The infamous incident happened during the 1995 Australia tour of the Caribbean, in a tightly contested third Test in Port of Spain, Trinidad. As it happened, a visibly bristling Ambrose had to be pulled away from Aussie batsman Steve Waugh after an obviously heated exchange that looked set to boil over. It was a strange sight for most as the towering fast bowler was known for being reluctant to exchange pleasantries, let alone be involved a full-on verbal joust. Ambrose recently recalled the incident.
“Steve Waugh and I had our battles over the years. He was a tough competitor and I have a lot of respect for him but in that particular game he said something to me that I didn’t like,” Sir Curtly recounted in an interview with Sky Sports Cricket Podcast.
“Initially, I ignored it, as in the heat of the battle you can say things, but after a break something just snapped,” he went on.
“I asked him, ‘did you say so and so to me?’ He didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no. He just said ‘I can say anything I want to say’ which to me was a yes. I decided I deserved more respect so I had a few choice words for him.
“I said ‘my cricket career could be over right this minute, it doesn’t make a difference to me, but your career will be over, too, because I’ll knock you out and you won’t be able to play anymore’. There were a few expletives in between obviously!” Sir Curtly, who was named player of the match, went on to end the Test with overall figures of 9 for 65, including a 4 for 20 haul in the second innings. The West Indies went on to win the match by nine wickets but Australia claimed the Frank Worrell Trophy after winning the series 2-1. The West Indian insisted that are no hard feelings between the two, but it has not been a subject that has been broached in any encounters since. (www.sportsmax.tv)