Fascinating interview at Cricinfo with Curtly Ambrose provided by PTI, in which he says cricket was never his real first love. Regular Corridor readers will know that watching Ambrose sparked my interest in the game (and my fondness of West Indies cricket today), so it’s quite disheartening to hear him speak of the game in such a detached manner.
Cricket gave me an identity but it wasn’t my first love,” he explained. “I did it as a job, for me basketball and music were my true passions. I started the game very late, at around 21 years, and didn’t enjoy the day-to-day discipline. I packed up when my body told me to do so. I felt happy to be out of it.”
He added that he did not miss cricket at all. “Now I don’t even watch the game. I have hardly watched a full game since I retired. I sometimes see a few snatches of play on television and that’s about it. I might not even come to watch the first Test on Friday.”
There is an irony in his comments. When you consider how devastating he was; how brilliant a bowler he was for so long; what presence he had on the field with his gangling medallions and perfectly rythmical approach to the crease, and he didn’t even want to be there (on the basis of these quotations). Yet on the eve of West Indies’ first Test against India, they could benefit from someone half as good as him – especially if they are to make good their renewed fizzle and spark in the field following their 4-1 demolishing of India in the one-dayers.
Oh well. Heroes have a habit of failing to live up to ones’ expectations. Despite his comments, he always appeared to give his very all to every match I saw him play. It was only the batsmen who wished he was bowling a basketball…