Curtly Ambrose

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Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose (born September 21, 1963) is a former West Indian cricketer. His skill was as a right-arm fast bowler, especially in partnership with Courtney Walsh. His huge 6'7" (2.01 m) frame was a fearsome sight for any batsman; even when his pace fell away due to age, he still bowled excellent line and length and, due to his height, could extract steepling bounce from any pitch — a threat to even the finest of batsmen. With Walsh, he formed one of the greatest opening bowling partnerships in history, as evidenced by the 421 wickets they shared in the 49 Test matches they played together.[1]

Ambrose was a man of few words, refusing countless interview requests with the motto "Curtly talk to no man."[2]

Contents

Playing career

Born in Swetes, Antigua he played for the Leeward Islands. He came to England in 1986 on a Viv Richards scholarship and played for Chester Boughton Hall in the Liverpool and District Cricket Competition taking 84 wickets in 362.1 overs at an average of 9.80. After playing for Littleborough in 1987, he was engaged by Northamptonshire County Cricket Club, and went on to represent the West Indian cricket team. Ambrose made his Test debut in April 1988 at Georgetown, Guyana against Pakistan and retired at the end of the England tour in August 2000.

International cricket

In Test cricket, he had 98 caps, bowled 1,001 maiden overs (roughly two in every seven) and took 405 wickets (making him only the fifth to exceed the 400 barrier) at an average of 20.99. This average is marginally bettered only by fellow West Indians Malcolm Marshall (20.94) and Joel Garner (20.97) among bowlers who have taken more than 200 wickets. In addition, Ambrose also boasts the best economy rate of any of the ten bowlers who have taken 400 or more Test wickets, at 2.30 per over.[3] His best performance was eight for 45 against England at Barbados in 1990 (in 34 Tests against England he took 164 wickets, dismissing Mike Atherton seventeen times); he took five wickets or better on 22 occasions, including seven wickets for one run against Australia at the WACA, in Perth, in 1993. He also bowled an infamous fifteen-ball over at the same ground: it contained nine no-balls and took twelve minutes to bowl, making it possibly the longest over in Test cricket. He overstepped the crease by a considerable margin and it was regarded that he deliberately did so to come closer to the batsmen to intimidate them.[citation needed]

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