Antigua: Curtly Ambrose, the last of the legendary West Indies fast bowlers, feels problems between destructive batsman Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) should be sorted out immediately for the benefit of Caribbean cricket.
Strumming his base guitar at a casino in the capital city along with his former captain Richie Richardson, Ambrose prefers to stay away from cricket.
The poor state of West Indies cricket pains him and he doesn't know why Gayle, who was the best batsmen of the Indian Premier League (IPL), is not in the squad.
But he knows that Gayle is the only cricketer who can make an impact for the West Indies. WICB selectors have kept out Gayle after he criticised the board in a radio interview.
"Gayle is one of the premium batsmen in the Caribbean. He would definitely make a difference in this West Indies batting line up. However why he is not playing I am not sure. I have heard there are some problems between him and the WICB. I don't know the details and I don't want to elaborate on that. But they need to sit down and sort out the matter because Gayle will make a difference in this team," said Ambrose, who struck a musical chord with Richardson by forming a band "Spirited".
The band lit up the atmosphere as they churn out reggae and calypso music and the crowd swayed to their music. The towering Ambrose, who always turned down interview request saying "Curtly talk to no maan" is now a gentle giant.
The 47-year-old cricketer fondly remembered the unplayable bowling attack that he formed with his fellow legend Courtney Walsh. Ambrose said their pair was one of the best to have played the game.
"Not long ago we had 4-5 fast bowlers. That was more than a pair but my pairing with Courtney has been probably the best pair in the history West Indies. It was one of the best pair to have played this game," he said.
Ambrose said his success on the pitch was due to his aggressive nature.
"Fast bowlers should be aggressive. I have been one of those fast bowlers who thrived on aggression. It is a part of my game. By nature I am an aggressive person. I do things aggressively, but I don't believe in sledging or talking to batsmen to throw them out of the game. I believe if you are good enough in what you do, you should be able to let the ball do talking for you or the bat if you are a batsman. In my case I ordered the ball to do the talking for me. I would stare at you, give you this mean look, it is part of my game. I don't say nothing and let the ball do talking for me," he said.
The Antiguan laments the lack of aggression from the current crop of West Indies cricketer.
"Up to mid 90s, we thrived on fast bowling. We used to have some good wickets here, quick and tailored made for our fast bowlers. That was our weapon. If you can't bowl out a team twice, you are not going to win too many matches.
"Sadly enough from mid 90s onwards wickets in Caribbean got really slow. It is very frustrating for a fast bowler. They wickets have got worse over the years. Until we start seeing some good wickets which assist fast bowlers, I am not sure if we see great fast bowlers in future," he said
Asked about his memorable spell, Ambrose said: "I have had fun memories of the past. There was one off Test match against South Africa in Barbados in 1992. They had just come back in international cricket. South Africa needed 79 runs with eight wickets in hand on the last day. They thought they would win quite easily but Walsh and myself had other ideas and they lost all eight wickets for just 28 runs in the morning and we won the game.
"Another instance, in Trinidad where we bowled out England for 46 runs. Me and walsh did all the bowling in that particular innings."