By Neto Baptiste
Specialist bowling consultant for the West Indies Under-19 during the recent Cricket West Indies (CWI) Rising Stars Under-19 High Performance Camp held here, Sir Curtly Ambrose, believes that a number of players who were part of the initiative are “good enough” to represent their respective territories in the Regional 4 Day Championships.
The legendary former fast bowler made the statement on the heels of a recent tour to England where the team lost their six-match ODI series 4-2, adding that he has already reached out to people with influence in some countries in hopes of having players fast-tracked into the senior set-up.
“I won’t call names because sometimes you do that and guys think that Curtly Ambrose calling my name so they tend to get complacent, but trust me, they have some guys in this team who, in a couple of years, will be able to transform into international cricket,” he said.
“However, they must represent their territories first in four-day cricket and I have already sent a couple of messages to some of my friends in different territories, trying to get them to understand that some of these players, and I gave them some names as well, they need to get these players into the four-day system right away, and don’t wait until they get to 22 [year old] and then lose interest. They are still under-19s and the way I see some of them play, they are ready for four-day cricket,” he added.
Sir Curtly said that players have been given full workout plans as they return to their respective countries following the camp which started in August and ended with the recent tour to England.
“We don’t want to come back to camp and have to start from scratch, so we gave them some assignments, something to do so that when they get back to camp, they will be still fit, raring to go, and they will just press forward.
“These guys are hungry, and you know I mark myself hard, and so I mark players hard,” he 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.