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Curtly Ambrose: The mean West Indian bowling machine

Updated on July 4, 2011
Curtly Ambrose could generate steep bounce off good lengths.
Curtly Ambrose could generate steep bounce off good lengths.

Full name: Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose

Date of birth: September 21, 1963

Place of birth: Swetes Village, Antigua

Major teams: West Indies, Leeward Islands, Northamptonshire

Best bowling in a Test match innings: 8/45 vs England at Bridgetown, 1990

Best bowling in an ODI innings: 5/17 vs Australia at Melbourne, 1988

Playing role: Fast Bowler (right arm), left-handed lower order batsman

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Curtley Ambrose is one of the fast bowling legends of the game, not just for his impressive statistics, but the way he instilled fear in opposing batsmen. The 6'6 Antiguan is only one of seven fast bowlers to take over 400 Test wickets. He would run to the crease with a bounding movement, before unleashing a scorcher that was on target more often than not. That target would be the stumps, the channel just off the stumps or the batsman.

Ambrose made his Test debut against Pakistan at Georgetown in 1998 - yet another one of the many fast bowlers that the Caribbean produced in the late seventies and eighties. The tall Antiguan soon became the pick of the crop and often shared the new ball with Jamaican Courtney Walsh during his career. In fact, the combination of Walsh and Ambrose was like the Australian combination of Lillee and Thompson in the seventies.


Curtly's lighter side

Ambrose was fiery with the ball and without it. In one of the best spells in Test cricket, he wrecked Australia with seven wickets for one run Down Under. Word has it that he was fired up by Dean Jones' request to have him remove his trademark white wristband from his hand. The tall fast bowler was also infamous for smashing stumps and declining interviews. Indeed, he was the type who would let the ball do the talking normally.

Ambrose is the second-highest Test wicket-taker in West Indies history - behind Courtney Walsh. He took 405 wickets from 98 Tests, reaching that milestone in his last series against England in 2000. Unfortunately, Ambrose ended his career with a series loss and as part of a dejected West Indies team. However, his presence prevented the West Indies from going into declined more precipitously.

Curtly Ambrose's bowling records

Match types
Matches
Wickets
Average
Strike Rate 
5W
10W
Tests
98
405
20.99 
54.5 
22
3
ODIs
176
225
24.12 
41.5 
4
0
First-class
239
941
20.24
51.8
50
8
List A
329
401
23.83 
42.7 
4
0
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  • cheetah786 profile image

    cheetah786 

    6 years ago

    curtly is regarded as top bowler of the world.. wasim akram in his interwiew told that the bounce of ambrose impresses me alot and no one can bounce like him.. I remembered the semi final of 1996 WC. amborose destroyed the openers of austrialian team.. this was big match.. but sad windies lost the match..

  • profile image

    Jacques 

    7 years ago

    Great article. One of the all time great bowler and one of my favorite - King curtly for ever!

    Thanks

  • SpiffyD profile imageAUTHOR

    SpiffyD 

    7 years ago from The Caribbean

    Thanks Rob.

  • profile image

    rorshak sobchak 

    7 years ago

    Interesting write up. Great job.

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