Champions Trophy absence a bitter pill, says Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose admits that the West Indies' failure to qualify for this summer's ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales has been a bitter pill to swallow.
For the first time since the tournament's inception in 1998, West Indies failed to qualify after not being among the top eight one-day international teams in the ICC rankings at the September 30, 2015 cut off — something which former Antigua and West Indies fast bowler Ambrose struggles to come to terms with.
“It's really a shame,” Ambrose told The Royal Gazette. “It is sad. I never thought the time would come when we, as a West Indies team, would miss a Champions Trophy.
“It's not a nice feeling at all, but that's the way it is. We are not playing as well as we can so it's up to us as a nation, and the cricketers themselves, to bring back this tradition we have to get West Indies cricket near the top again.”
The West Indies' only triumph in the competition arrived in 2004 when they beat home side England by two-wickets with seven balls to spare at The Oval. Ambrose, who claimed 405 Test wickets, believes that the West Indies' present crop of players boast potential but struggle with consistency.
“Potential and talent has never been the question,” he said. “It's just we've not kept the results that we want. From time to time there have been some good performances, but we're not consistent enough.
“To move up the rankings you have to be consistent with both games and with both teams and until we start to do that we will remain the way we are at the moment. We just need to be more consistent.”
Double world record holder Brian Lara captained West Indies to Champions Trophy glory in 2004, the squad travelling to Bermuda to prepare for the tournament.
Ambrose has travelled to Trinidad for the official opening of the Brian Lara Cricket Academy and stadium in Tarouba.
“Brian Lara is a West Indies cricket legend and to have a stadium named after him is a huge honour,” Ambrose said.
“When he asked me to be a part of this I said ‘yes'.
I've played with Lara for many years and he is such a wonderful player, and I think it's only fitting that I be a part of this grand occasion.”