LONDON, CMC – Legendary former seamer Sir Curtly Ambrose has held out little hope for embattled West Indies in the three-Test series against England starting here Thursday.
Sir Curtly, who until last year served as the Caribbean side’s bowling coach, said West Indies were coming up against a very confident England side and would struggle to even win a Test.
“I am very, very concerned,” the giant Antiguan told the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show ahead of today’s start of the day/night first Test at Edgbaston.
“England are the favourites, they have just beaten South Africa 3-1 and South Africa are a better team than the West Indies at the moment. [England’s] confidence is sky high.
“The West Indies on the other hand will have to play exceptionally well, first of all to compete, let alone win a game.”
He added: “Speaking from the heart as a West Indian, I’m hoping they can at least win a match or compete. But as a realist, I’m not so sure they are going to compete against England.”
Further, the touring squad is a young one, with just three players – Kemar Roach, Kieran Powell and Shannon Gabriel – playing a Test in England before.
Stars like Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels – with 223 Tests between them – have all been sidelined for the series owing to various reasons but Sir Curtly said the experienced players were required if the Windies results were to improve.
“According to the Cricket West Indies board, you have to be available to play all the first-class games in the region to be eligible for the Test team.
“I don’t have a problem with that, but Cricket West Indies need to be more lenient with their players if they want their best team.
“So many players are starting their careers so have no-one to turn to who is a senior pro.”