By Neto Baptiste
Fast bowling legend, Sir Curtly Ambrose, has called for the preparation of better pitches following the conclusion of the Colonial Medical Insurance Super50 Cup which climaxed just over a week ago in Trinidad.
The former West Indies great said grounds-men across the region must do better where it pertains to delivering quality pitches that provide equal encouragement for both batsmen and bowlers alike if play in the region is to become more competitive.
“We have to prepare better cricket pitches. The pitches are too low and slow and it is difficult for proper stroke play. Batsmen want the ball to come onto the bat where they can trust the bounce. These pitches are terrible and I am hoping that the grounds-men around the region are listening because I have been saying it for years. Prepare better cricket pitches where the ball bounces a bit so there is a little thing for the fast bowlers, something for the spinners, and the batsmen can play their strokes without wondering if the ball is going to shoot or fly up in their faces off the same length,” he said.
Sir Curtly, who brought commentary throughout the Super50 tournament, said the play was often subpar and that teams performed in spurts as opposed to putting out constantly good performance.
“In bits and pieces you would see some good cricket, some really attractive and aggressive cricket with bat, ball and even the outfield with some brilliant catches and fielding in bits and pieces, but most time the games were very boring. Guys may be chasing a low total and take forever to get to that low score, soaking up a lot of dot balls which is one of the biggest problems we face in the Caribbean and not just at the international level but from right down all the way to the top level. The amount of dot balls that are soaked up and that is a cause for concern,” the former speeder said.
West Indies Emerging Players captured the 2019 edition of the competition, following a commanding 205 run victory over Leeward Islands Hurricanes Port of Spain.
The former player said the Hurricanes did many things wrong on the day, adding that Emerging players should be credited for their performance throughout the tournament.
“First, they [Leeward Islands] didn’t bowl well. The Emerging Players got to 293 and that was a big total, a winning total. When you look at all the scores in the competition once you get to 293 you’re going to win so that 293 was a daunting task for the Leeward and not saying they couldn’t get it but they would have to bat extremely well,” Sir Curtly said.
“Secondly, they lost the game in the first 10 overs they batted, that first power play, they were 29 for two after 10 overs chasing 293, you done lose. They would have had to at least, start off at a rapid pace where you would get at least 60 to 70 runs in that first 10,” he added.
Leeward Islands’ Kieran Powell finished the tournament as the leading batsman with a total of 524 runs from 10 innings with T&T’s Darren Bravo in second with 481 runs from eight innings. Rovman Powell of Jamaica rounds off the top three with 412 runs from eight innings.
Sheeno Berridge of the Leeward Islands was the top bowler with 23 wickets, while Barbados’ Ashley Nurse was close behind with 19 from nine innings, and Keon Harding of Emerging Players was third with 18 scalps.