By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, believes his wealth of experience could benefit a number of young and exciting fast bowlers in and around the England senior men’s squad.
His statement comes on the heels of news of his application to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the position of elite pace-bowling coach, which was first advertised some three weeks ago.
“Let’s not talk about Stuart Broad or James Anderson because those guys are veterans and they are the ones who know what they are doing, but when you get a guy like the young Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Olly Stone, I think that my vast knowledge and experience in international cricket would serve them very well. I am quite sure there are a few other youngsters around, maybe not in the England team set-up, but around the county circuit and stuff, so I figure that working with these youngsters is something I look forward to doing,” he said.
According to Sir Curtly, who has the lowest bowling average of any man to take 400 Test wickets (20.99), he applied for the role some two weeks ago after it was brought to his attention by an associate.
The Antiguan, who has held temporary coaching jobs within the regional set-up following his success with the regional men’s team in the 2016 T20 World Cup, said the position caught his interest as it would allow him to work with some top upcoming international fast bowlers in the world today.
“Cricket is what I know and I have always said, from the time I retired from cricket, that I want to give back whether in Antigua, Leeward Islands, West Indies or internationally. That is what I want to do, coach, so it doesn’t matter where, so when I learnt of the England coaching role, I decided to apply. It sort of excites me and I figured why not,” the former player said.
Former West Indies captain and legendary batsman, Sir Viv Richards, lent support to Sir Curtly’s application.
“I just wish him the very best and I know for sure that if England views him really serious, I know for sure that they are going to make sure that they grab him if there is an opportunity there for him to get it because what I think they love more than anything else is just people who bring a lot of information [experience] because all the other stuff is there already for the guys in terms of the technical side of stuff. England is filled with that,” he said. If he is successful, Sir Curtly will be expected to work with England’s ‘next in line’ pace bowlers to ensure they are prepared for the rigours of international cricket. He will also, from time to time, be expected to assist with the senior squad and lead A tours.