West Indies cricket legend Sir Curtly Ambrose says the management and the authority need to make changes in Test cricket and make the Test matches more exciting by creating quicker pitches and removing restrictions on short-pitched bowling for test matches. The former West Indies pacer has warned that if changes are not made to make test cricket more exciting the level of interest in the format will continue to decline.
Sir Curtly Ambrose is a former cricketer from Antigua who played 98 Test matches for the West Indies. A fast bowler, he took 405 Test wickets at an average of 20.99. He was chosen as one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1992; after he retired he was entered into the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame and selected as one of West Indies all-time XI by a panel of experts. He will mentor the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Carribean Premier League (CPL) which starts Friday in Grenada.
“The two-bouncers-per-over rule (restricting the number of short-pitched balls a fast bowler can deliver) has also taken away a lot of the flair from cricket. The International Cricket Council needs to look at it again,” said Ambrose. “If a fast bowler can bowl only a limited number of short balls, you’re taking away a weapon from him. If a batsman is playing the hook shot, the fast bowler needs to be able to see whether that was a fluke, or whether he is serious. Of course, the umpire should step in if the bowler is overdoing it but don’t take away the excitement. It’s so difficult for a fast bowler today, “he said in an interview with Standard Sport.
“If you go to a Test match and there is no excitement, it is going to turn people away. If there is a good fast bowler who can rattle the batsman, people enjoy that. When a batsman takes on a fast bowler, people love that competition, regardless of which teams are playing. That is certainly the case in the Caribbean.”