By Neto Baptiste
Former fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, a specialist bowling consultant during Cricket West Indies’ (CWI) Rising Stars Under-19 High Performance Camp which culminated with a recent tour to England, believes the players are leaving the stint as better players.
The Under-19s, who are in preparation for the ICC Cricket World Cup (50 overs), lost their six-match series against England Under-19s by a 4-2 margin.
The legendary former player said the tour was a much needed learning curve for the young cricketers.
“Even though the results didn’t go our way, it wasn’t all about the results it was about the experience and gaining knowledge and, to be fair, we lost two games by one wicket so we could have won those two and come back home 4-2 winners but it’s about the experience, gaining knowledge and a lot of positives can be taken away from that,” he said.
Sir Curtly, who claimed 405 Test wickets and another 225 in ODIs, said he saw gradual and meaningful improvement in the team’s bowling throughout the six-match stay in England.
“In one of the games we bowled 27 wides and we were defending 180 or something and so the bowlers did well enough to bring it down and we lost by one wicket so that 27 wides killed us.
“In the other game, we had them on the run when the last pear came in needing 20-plus runs and a few bad deliveries cost us as well so it’s nothing major, simple things we can control next time around when we are in that situation.
“The very next game, after we bowled that 27 wides, I was very upset and I told them so. I was very firm with them and in the next game they bowled just seven so you can see the big difference where we bowled 20 wides less, so it’s something we can fix,” he said.
The Antiguan is however confident that the players will be ready for the task at hand when the tournament bowls off in January here in the West Indies.
“We have October, November, December so we got three months but that isn’t a long time because by the time you look around January is right here so that trip was important for us and we still got some time left to just tweak the few little mistakes here and there. By the time the World Cup comes in January we are going to be ready. The guys are hungry and they are ready and willing to go,” Sir Curtly said.
England Under-19s won the opening match by 166 runs before taking the second match by just one run.
West Indies rebounded in the third contest to win by two wickets before England won the fourth contest by nine wickets.
West Indies again rebounded to win the fifth match by two wickets before England secured the series win with a nine-wicket victory in the sixth and final contest.