ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Outspoken former West Indies captain Sir Vivian Richards, has leapt to the defence of Sir Curtly Ambrose, slamming the reason given for the legendary former pacer’s dismissal as West Indies bowling consultant.
Sir Curtly, who took 405 wickets in a stellar 98 Test career, was last week replaced by former Barbados and West Indies A pacer, Roddy Estwick, after three years in the post.
The Antiguan said he was told by head coach Phil Simmons that while he had done a good job, a more technical approach was required, but Sir Viv disagreed with this view.
“That’s for the academies, in my opinion, and he (Sir Curtly) put it so perfectly when he said that if you are going to need all this technical help later on when you are part of the senior team, it means that something is wrong and it’s quite mind-boggling,” Sir Viv told the Observer newspaper here.
“The things you can see playing out, looks to me there is a friend and companion sort of environment.”
Sir Viv, who never lost a series as captain, further contended that the quality of Sir Curtly’s resume was what was required at the highest level, to enable players to perform at their best.
“I’ve seen that in the Australian set-up where [Dennis] Lillee is always around regardless of whatever achievements individuals have and regardless of whatever technical stuff they come with,” Sir Viv said.
“I just believe that we place too much emphasis on the technical side of things and we have to try and get it right where the technical stuff is done.”
Sir Viv played 121 Tests, carving out 8540 runs at an average of 50, and is widely considered to be the finest batsman of his era.
Since his retirement, he has served in several roles in West Indies cricket, and recently acted as a consultant to the West Indies High Performance Centre in Barbados.
Sir Viv, however, pointed out there were technical problems to be solved among players but the highest level was not the place to do it.
“You look and you see that Narine still has problems; we see that Ronsford Beaton and people like that are still having problems,” Sir Viv stressed.
“So try and settle those little issues there first and do whatever in terms of the work in order for you to be part of a successful unit.
“Curtly has done enough, in my opinion, in terms of the motivational factor, the respect that he brings because he would have been there, done this, done that. There is no better resume than that.”