By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, listed Australian players David Boon and Steve Waugh, as the most tenacious batsmen he faced during his successful career.
The Antiguan, who claimed 405 wickets in 98 Tests, said the Australian duo was fearless and offered very little to fast bowlers in terms of options for getting them out.
“David Boon is one of those very stubborn players, as stubborn as they come and he is one of those cricketers that he doesn’t care what you throw at him. So you could pepper him with short balls, get aggressive and everything with him but he will never show any signs of weakness; I look in his eyes and he would look back at me,” he said.
“Some players, when you really rough them up, you could look in their eyes and see they are not comfortable and it’s only a matter of time before you get them out, but David Boon and Steve Waugh, as well, were very similar. It doesn’t really matter what you throw at them, they are never going to surrender. So, those two guys for me, in terms of mental toughness, are right at the top of the tree,” he added.
During a 1995 Test in Trinidad, Ambrose and Waugh got into a war of words out in the middle which ended with the Antiguan threatening to “knock out” the batsman.
Ambrose has accused Waugh of saying something he didn’t like and although he ignored it at first, the Antiguan said that after a break “something snapped”.
In 1993, Boon was forced to retire hurt on just two runs in the first innings of a Test match in Adelaide after he was struck on the elbow by a delivery from Ambrose.
Boon did return to end the innings not out on 39.
“David Boon is a tough character and that is the only time I can recall him retiring hurt and there was no discussion after. He, unfortunately, had gotten hit on his elbow and had to retire hurt and came back. We won the game, but there was no discussion really. The only thing he said was that if he can’t come back to bat it would make life easier for us, because he is a very stubborn cricketer,” he said.
In One Day Internationals (ODI), Sir Curtly claimed 176 wickets in 98 outings.