Ambrose lauds urge to produce sporting wickets in BPL
West Indies, a team that once possessed the fiercest pace quartet in cricket -- Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Colin Croft -- now rarely field three genuine quicks in an eleven, a fact that greatly pains Caribbean fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose.
Ambrose, who is currently in Dhaka working as a commentator in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), feels that a lack of sporting wickets has stagnated the production of fast bowlers in the Caribbean.
"I can give you an example on how the lack of emphasis on sporting pitches have hurt West Indies when it comes to producing new fast bowlers in the recent years," said Ambrose.
"Pitches in the Caribbean in the recent years are slow and low and I have seen no more than two seamers in the playing eleven, which is disappointing," he added.
Ambrose, however, feels that Bangladesh are heading in the right direction in this regard, as he senses an urgency to prepare sporting pitches during this season of the BPL, which he believes will help fast bowlers hone their skills and flourish in international circuit.
"It's good to be back here in Bangladesh and I must say I am happy to see how new seamers are coming through the ranks in the past couple of years," said the 60-year-old.
"Pace bowling is a different art where a lot depends on how the surface plays for the seamers. You have to provide the opportunity for both the bowlers and batters to have an equal contest which would ultimately help develop the skills of the cricketers overall.
"I was here in the previous edition of the BPL and although this edition has just started, I can see the urge from the curators to prepare sporting tracks which is a positive sign," he added.
Ambrose also pointed at how difficult it is for pacers to ignore the lure of lucrative Twenty20 leagues around the world and keep their focus on other formats.
"You can't blame the pacers to be honest. T20 cricket is taking over the game in the recent years and it takes a lot out of them to cope up with that. It's also lucrative for the players to overturn the opportunities that they now get since there are too many franchise leagues going around worldwide.
"But I think if you got the skills a pacer can shine in any format of the game but fitness remains as the biggest challenge," said Ambrose.
Bangladesh is currently looking for a fast bowling coach after South African legend Allan Donald parted ways with the Tigers after last year's ICC ODI World Cup.
When Ambrose was asked whether he would want to work with the Bangladesh team, the tall man from Antigua seemed pretty interested.
"I love coaching and want to help the pace bowlers to develop and share my experience. I know Courtney [Walsh] has worked with Bangladesh cricket in the past and you never know if things work out I might be interested to work with the Tigers. It's about sharing your knowledge and help the pacers to know the right things."