Viv Richards backs sacked Ambrose

St. John’s (Antigua), May 20 (IANS) Batting legend Vivian Richards has come out in defence of sacked West Indies bowling coach Curtly Ambrose.

Ambrose was sacked as the West Indies bowling coach and replaced by Barbados’ Roddy Estwick ahead of next month’s tri-nation series with the visiting Australia and South Africa teams.

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Richards placed his support firmly behind Ambrose regarding the idea that technical deficiencies be fixed before players come to the West Indies set-up.

“If you have technical issues, then you shouldn’t be in the team and I could be wrong, but that’s the way I look at it,” Ambrose said earlier of the West Indies coach Phil Simmons’ rationale for removing him as bowling coach.

Richards was in complete agreement.

“That’s for the academies, in my opinion, and he (Ambrose) put it so perfectly when he said that if you are going to need all this technical help later on when you are part of the senior team, it means that something is wrong and it’s quite mind-boggling,” Richards was quoted as saying by The Barbados Today on Thursday.

Ambrose pointed to his dissatisfaction with the way his sacking was handled, saying that at no point did anyone say to him there was a problem.

Earlier this year former Barbados all-rounder Franklyn Stephenson who runs the Franklyn Stephenson Academy, and is considered one of the greatest West Indians never to have played Test cricket, described Ambrose as one of the worst coaches he had ever seen.

Stephenson, who dominated the English county scene in the 1980s with bat and especially ball, said Ambrose was not the man to inspire bowlers to success on the pitch.

“He was a fantastic bowler but he’s the worst coach I’ve seen. He came here (Franklyn Stephenson Academy) to our camp but didn’t say a single word to any bowler. He is just for show, nothing more,” Stephenson said then.

He added the obsession with giving jobs to former Test players was holding back the West Indies side’s progress.

“They’ve been the worst coaches. The results tell you that,” he had earlier said.

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