The West Indies, formerly known for having the fiercest pace four in cricket (Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, and Colin Croft), now seldom have three real quicks in an eleven, which bothers Caribbean fast bowling veteran Sir Curtly Ambrose.
Ambrose, who is now in Dhaka working as a pundit in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), believes that a shortage of sports wickets has slowed the Caribbean’s fast bowling development.
“I can give you an example on how the lack of emphasis on sporting pitches have hurt West Indies when it comes to producing new fast bowlers in the recent years,” Ambrose went on to say.
“Pitches in the Caribbean in the recent years are slow and low and I have seen no more than two seamers in the playing eleven, which is disappointing,” he went on to say.
Ambrose, on the other hand, thinks that Bangladesh is on the right track in this respect, as he sees a need to develop sporty fields for this season’s BPL, which he believes would enable fast bowlers improve their talents and thrive on the international circuit.
“It’s good to be back here in Bangladesh and I must say I am happy to see how new seamers are coming through the ranks in the past couple of years,” the 60-year-old added.
“Pace bowling is a unique art form in which the seamers’ performance is heavily influenced by the surface. You must let both bowlers and batsmen to compete on an equal footing, which will eventually assist cricketers strengthen their overall talents.
“I was here in the previous edition of the BPL and although this edition has just started, I can see the urge from the curators to prepare sporting tracks which is a positive sign,” he went on to say.
Ambrose also mentioned how tough it is for pacers to resist the allure of rich Twenty20 leagues throughout the globe and instead concentrate on other forms.
“You can’t blame the pacers, to be honest. T20 cricket has taken over the game in recent years, and it takes a lot from them to keep up with it. It’s also profitable for players to take advantage of the chances that are currently available since there are far too many franchise leagues throughout the globe.
“But I think if you got the skills a pacer can shine in any format of the game but fitness remains as the biggest challenge,” Ambrose went on to say.
Bangladesh is now seeking for a fast bowling coach after South African veteran Allan Donald left the Tigers after last year’s ICC ODI World Cup.
When asked whether he wanted to work with the Bangladesh squad, Ambrose, a big guy from Antigua, sounded eager.
“I like teaching and want to assist fast bowlers progress and share my knowledge. I know Courtney [Walsh] has already worked with Bangladesh cricket, and if things work out, I may be interested in working with the Tigers. It’s about sharing your expertise and assisting the pacers in learning the correct information.”