Ultimate Test XI Profile: Curtly Ambrose

By May 13, 2020
Curtly Ambrose Curtly Ambrose

“I like that about him,” Sir Curtly Ambrose had said about young West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph. Sir Curtly was speaking about the fact that Joseph never seemed to smile and was most displeased when one of his deliveries got treated poorly. Sir Curtly saw in young Alzarri, some of what was very present when he bowled for the West Indies. An unyielding tenacity was present. He never liked to get hit and he certainly never liked to be bowling to one person for too long. He had to get you out and on 405 occasions, he did.

Sir Curtly’s tools were his height and his accuracy. From around 10 feet up, he would spare deliveries onto a length just outside offstump, aptly called the ‘corridor of uncertainty.’ Ambrose’s height meant he extracted steep bounce which could undo a batsman if he attempted to play forward to a delivery maybe nine times out of 10, he should have. But you wouldn’t have time to go back either because the ball was too full, leaving batsmen with no option but to abandon their footwork and use just their hands and eyes. Now movement became important because playing from your crease meant you had no time to react if the ball moved. Entering the fray are now caught behind, in the slip, at bat pad or short, extra cover, forward short leg, or even the deathly sound of a drag on. Sometimes a batsman may just end up going bowled.

That nagging line and length also meant Ambrose was ridiculously difficult to score off and has the best economy of any bowler with more than 400 wickets.

Sir Curtly’s best came against Australia in 1992-93 at the WACA where he decimated the opposition with 7-1, and again against England when he had 6-24 the following year at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago. Those spells are, to this day, considered among the most legendary, not just in the West Indies, but anywhere.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose

Born: September 21, 1963, Swetes Village, Antigua

Major teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Northamptonshire, UWI Vice Chancellor's Celebrity XI, West Indies Masters

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Left-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

Test Career:   West Indies (1988-2000)

Mat    Inns    Balls     Runs     Wkts   BBI       BBM     Ave      Econ     SR        4w    5w   10w

98       179     22103   8501      405     8/45      11/84   20.99     2.30      54.5      21     22      3

 

Career Highlights

  • Took 405 wickets at an average of 20.99
  • Best average for bowlers over 400 wickets
  • Best economy rate for bowlers over 400 wickets
  • Best figures in an innings 8 for 45
Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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