West Indies bowling consultant and former pacer, Sir Curtly Ambrose, hopes the strongest possible regional squad will be available for the upcoming tour to South Africa.
In his first interview since the senior team’s pullout of the India tour, Sir Curtly said he remains optimistic the impasse will be resolved and that all players will be available for the tour, which begins December 10.
“Any time you are going on a tour, you want to select your strongest team possible so I am just hoping that whatever problems we had can be rectified and we are able to select our strongest and best team,” he said. But at the end of the day, I always believe that one should stand for what they believe in and stand firm with what they believe in.”
West Indies will play three Test matches starting December 17, three T/20 fixtures starting January 9, 2015 and five One Day International matches starting January 16, 2015 during their tour to South Africa.
Sir Curtly, who played 98 Test matches for the West Indies and took 405 Test wickets at an average of 20.99, said a greater effort should have been made to resolve the situation in India.
“If we are big men, I can’t see a problem with you speaking your mind to me. I am a straight forward person, too, and if I don’t like something you’re doing I’m going to tell you, straight up, I don’t like it and I expect that from you. So if we are honest enough and big men enough, you should at least respect people’s opinion and suggestions and stuff like that and move on,” the national icon said.
“If we are going to squabble about it and say, ‘well, this person didn’t support me’ or ‘Ambi didn’t support me, so I am not talking to him’, that to me is childish,” Sir Curtly added.
Asked for his opinion on the public row between some players over the India pullout, Sir Curtly said all should be allowed to express their concerns “like big men.”
“I believe that whatever problem exists between players, WIPA, WICB; my take on it is simply this, whatever the problems are, the cricket should always be the winner at the end of the day. It’s not a question of who is wrong or who is right. The cricket should be the winner and something should have been done on everybody’s part to save the tour and save us the embarrassment and that stuff,” he said.
Following their tour of South Africa, West Indies will turn their attention to the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia staring February 13.
The regional squad opens its campaign against Ireland on February 16.