Fast bowling icon Sir Curtly Ambrose believes it will be difficult for the West Indies to unearth players with similar talents to those from the team’s glory days of the 70s, 80’s and early 90s because the current crop of players have not grasped what cricket means to the people from the region.
The outspoken 57-year-old Ambrose, who took 405 Test wickets in 98 Tests between 1988 and 2000, was speaking on Talk Sports Live with Michael Bascombe in Antigua on Saturday when he made his stunning declaration.
“This is no disrespect to the players we have now because we have a couple of guys who have some quality in them and can become great but what we have to understand is that I don’t think we will ever see those great, exceptional glory days again,” said the towering Antiguan, who famously took seven wickets for one run in a devastating spell against Australia in Perth in 1993.
“It’s going to be difficult to find another Viv Richards, or a Haynes and Greenidge, a Brian Lara, Richie Richardson; you know, a Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Courtney Walsh, Michael Holding, Andy Roberts, and the list goes on and on, Clive Lloyd.
“It’s going to be extremely difficult to find those quality players again.”
He believes this to be the case because the modern players have little appreciation for the legacy that made the West Indies great.
“Most of the youngsters we have now, probably don’t quite understand what cricket means to West Indians in the West Indies and abroad because cricket is the only sport that really unites Caribbean people,” argued Ambrose, who took 22 five-wicket hauls during his illustrious Test career.
“When we were the best team in the word, West Indians all over the globe could walk and boast about how good we are because we were the best, so it’s going to be difficult to see those glory days again.
“Yes, we can be competitive and climb up the ICC rankings and be a force to be reckoned with again, but those glory days, I don’t think we will see them again.”
For almost 20 years, the West Indies under the leadership of Sir Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards, were the number-one Test and ODI team in the world.
The team won the ODI (Prudential World Cup) in 1975 and 1979 but have not won the tournament since.
The West Indies are now ranked eighth on Tests and ODIs and tenth in T20 cricket despite being the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2016 and 2012.