Soon cricketers Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will be playing their last match in the Ashes series. Two West Indies legends, namely Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, in a heart-to-heart conversation with Betway Cricket, discuss the secrets of their success as magnificent new-ball duo.
Even though the bowling partnership between Anderson and Broad can primarily be explained as aggressive enough to intimidate even the most experienced players, but this does not seem to be an issue with them as they examine how their legacy will be remembered. Ambrose, when asked about his feelings towards his successors on the field, asserted his love for the fast bowling groups and said he is very passionate and proud of the coming crop of fast bowlers who are doing well. He also said that feel great to see new players learning from the mistakes and shortcomings of the former and older bowlers.
Walsh added that Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad have contributed immensely to the game. He said that there should be another partnership that should match their level or be even better than the two retiring English cricketers. He said both Anderson and Broad were never interested in their ego.
Later in the conversation, Ambrose said that that there is no point in taking even 10 wickets if the team ends up losing. He said that he likes winning and he is not very graceful when it comes to dealing with failure. Ambrose and Walsh have won many matches and their win-loss ratio maintained the second best rank till 1995. Later it changed because the team’s standard around them declined. They have played 230 test matches combined and opened the bowling in 52 matches in which they ousted 412 batsmen. Their wicket taking tally is 405 for Walsh and 519 for Ambrose.
Talking about their achievements, Walsh acknowledged that they did set the bar too high for future generations but it is not like their records cannot be broken. They are both proud of their work and can’t wait to see what the next generation of cricketers has to offer.
Speaking of his childhood, Ambrose said that he used to bowl for guys who were much older than him and enjoyed it but cricket was not his first love. He revealed that cricket came third in line and his favorite sport was basketball which was followed by football. It was his mother, who loved cricket that influenced him to try cricket.
Walsh said that when he started as a cricket, he was a spinner. He started his career at the Melbourne Cricket Club in Jamaica. He later got admitted in the West Indies team in the year 1984 and met Ambrose some four years later. They also said that the duo met only via luck. They were not close initially but they soon become friends after their own-filed chemistry bloomed. They become really good friends in 1990 when they became roommates and began spending more time together. This helped their understanding and strengthened their partnership.
Soon Walsh and Anderson grew past the partnerships of legends like Pakistan’s Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis of Pakistan and Anderson and Broad of cricket. The reason for this success was because both Walsh and Ambrose looked after each other. They both then added that the reason why their partnership was so successful was that they did not compete with each other in negative spirit but rather complemented one another. They helped each other equally by analyzing the boundary. This does not mean that there was no competition; they both have a healthy competitive spirit too.
Talking about their career highlights, Walsh said that for him the highlight of his career was when he became the first bowler who took 500 wickets in test matches. Ambrose said that for him the highlight was when he scored 7-1 in January 1993, against Australia.
The duo’s relationship went across a major period of stress in the year 1994. That was when Walsh had to replace Richie Richardson as the caption of West Indies team. This caused some awkwardness between the Ambrose and Walsh. However, because of their maturity and a great sense of humor, both the players fared well even in difficult times. Their common goal of winning the match and giving good performances outlived every awkwardness.
Walsh said that according to him the best thing about his team was that everyone enjoyed each other’s company in the West Indies team. Ambrose added to this and said that the team took effort from every player and each player did what was best for the team first. When Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will finally retire from test cricket, there will be a huge debate for the title of world’s fast bowling partnership.
You can see the full interview here on Betway’s Insider.