Ambrose Excited Ahead Of 2014 CPL
On the eve of the second Caribbean Premier League competition, which gets underway tomorrow 11th July), Cricket World were not going to turn down the opportunity to speak to the West Indian fast bowling legend and mentor of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, Sir Curtly Ambrose.
After all, here is a man who during his playing days was renowned for not talking to the media!
And with tomorrow's opening game seeing his Warriors side facing the Antigua Hawksbills, Ambrose was understandably excited for the competition after taking up a new mentor role at the Warriors.
"Well of course I'm exited to be joining the CPL," he began. "After last year it should be a huge success, when I heard about the CPL first I was excited because T20 is an exiting game and it's being played all over the world except the Caribbean, so when I heard about it I was quite elated and to be asked to be apart of it was even more satisfying for me.
"Last year I was a coach with Roger Harper, this year the roles have changed slightly. I have now become the mentor, and am not the assistant but at the same time I will still coach the fast bowlers as well as being a mentor.
"My role really hasn't changed much, the title has but I will still be working with the fast bowlers."
The Warriors made a fantastic start to the 2013 season finishing at the top of the group stage with five wins from seven games and managed to make their way to the final after beating the Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel thanks to a match-winning performance from Tillakaratne Dilshan with both bat and ball.
However in the final they failed to produce the form they had shown throughout the tournament, losing by seven wickets against the Jamaica Tallawahs thanks to a patient 47 from Chris Gayle.
"I thought last year we had a good enough team to win the tournament and a lot of people were tipping us to win," Ambrose says, reflecting on the competition.
"We played some wonderful cricket in the final but didn't quiet get it right. Even though we were disappointed, at the end of the day I think the tournament overall was a success.
"This year it's going to be even tougher because all of the teams have a few good players coming in, so I believe this year is going to be tougher than last year but hopefully the Amazon Warriors will hopefully win the tournament."
To many, the West Indies is the birthplace of the most flamboyant cricketers in history, so it is a surprise that a franchised Twenty20 league had not already began to flourish in the West Indies.
With the Stanford 20/20 competition starting in 2006 but only running until the 2008 season, and the Caribbean Twenty 20 which was only held from 2010 until 2012, it was greeted happily by the Caribbean people when the CPL was announced in late 2012.
"Caribbean people, to anything that is new, tend to sit back and watch first, and if it's going well we will jump on and give it some support," Ambrose explained.
"So that was my only reservation, and because it was supported, and from the very first game right to the last, it was sell out crowds at every friendly, every game and some good cricket was played.
"But to me the CPL of 2013 was a huge success and I am really looking forward to 2014 with the same level of excitement, the same kind of commitment from the players and of course the spectators you know will be cheering us so I’m exited for 2014."
The CPL gives young West Indian players the opportunity to play on a global stage as well as have the chance to work with cricketing legends such as Ambrose to help hone theire skills.
"I'm quite sure the quality among all the legends, we are all quite happy, not only to give advice but just to be in the same changing room as great players means a lot to these young players because they’ve only seen these legends from a distance and never had a chance to rub shoulders with them, so I think the CPL has done a fantastic job," Ambrose added.
During his career, Ambrose took 405 wickets in 98 Tests for the West Indies, however as he retired from cricket in 2000 he never had the opportunity to play in a Twenty20 game.
"I would have loved to have played as T20 it's predominately a fast man's game and it a huge challenge for any bowler, so it really would be a good test for me and my bowling skills.
"Playing T20 is so much different than playing a test match, its a fast paced game," he said.
Sir Curtly Ambrose will mentor the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2014 Limacol Caribbean Premier League. The Biggest Party in Sport begins in Grenada on 11th July - for more info visit CPLT20.com
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