|Player:||CEL Ambrose, CA Walsh|
DateLine: 12th August 2019
The two greats of West Indian cricket tell Cricket Archive the secret to cricketing domination as the ICC World Test Championship begins
A new era of international cricket began earlier this month with the start of the ICC World Test Championship.
Nine teams will go head to head in a bid to quality for the grand finale, held at Lord’s in June 2021.
But if they wish to reach the Home of Cricket, they’ll need to find a fine bowling partnership – just as West Indies did with Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose three decades ago.
“History will tell you that our records were broken,” Walsh told Betway “But it's good to be able to say that.”
Walsh and Ambrose were the driving force behind the great West Indies side of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Between them, they claimed 924 wickets in just 230 Test matches.
For a fast bowling partnership playing in an era of less international cricket, this was some tally.
“If he [Walsh] was taking wickets, then my job was simply to make sure I kept the same pressure from the same end,” Ambrose told Betway. “If it was my day, he would do the same.”
“We would always have a smile, seeing who was going to get the most wickets that day,” Walsh added. “Curtly was the sort of guy who said, ‘let's see who can do things first.’
“But we looked after each other. I would look to him from the boundary and tell him what I had seen or what I had noticed. And he would do the same for me.”
Their excellent relationship on the pitch remained throughout their careers – even when Walsh was appointed captain in 1994.
“When Courtney became captain, I still had choice of ends,” Ambrose added. “Of course, I always said to him ‘I'm going to choose the end with the breeze at my back and you've got to bowl into the wind.’
“He's a joker, so he said, ‘man I'm the captain and you're still ordering me around’!”
Jokes aside, Walsh and Ambrose always put the team first.
“If I take 10 wickets in a Test match and we lose it's a waste of time,” Ambrose said. “I love winning, winning is a nice feeling. I don't take losing very well.
“One of the highlights of the West Indies team was that we cherished everybody's company,” Walsh added. “It was a tremendous effort all round – every time you looked at that particular team you would think 'wow'.”
Australia, who sit top of the Championship after their brilliant win against England at Edgbaston, will look to stretch their lead as they are now narrow favourites for the Ashes, according to Betway
However, there’s still plenty of time for the likes of Pakistan, India and New Zealand to find their own proficient partnership and take the title.
It’s all to play for in this exciting new competition.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2019 The Cricketer)
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