You Cannot Teach A Bowler to be Aggressive, It Has to Come From Within: Curtly Ambrose
Curtly Ambrose (© AFP)

Fast bowling legend Curtly Ambrose reckons that a bowler cannot be taught to become aggressive as it’s a quality that one is born with.

Ambrose is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers to have played the game, having taken 405 wickets in 98 Tests at an outstanding average of 20.99.

“I don’t think you can teach a bowler to be aggressive – it has to be something within you. You can try but if a bowler doesn’t have it inside of him, it probably won’t work. For me it worked because I am naturally aggressive while I am competing. It naturally flowed for me,” Ambrose told Sky Sports.

The former West Indies cricketer said while he was naturally aggressive, Andy Roberts, another fast bowling great, advised him to assimilate it in his bowling.

“One of the things he (Roberts) mentioned to me was to always be aggressive, to always get under the skin of batsmen. That stuck in my mind coming from a great man like him,” he said.

However, Ambrose feels that if someone is good enough to make a statement with the ball, there’s hardly any need to sledge.

“…if you are good enough at what you do, you let the five and a half ounces (the cricket ball) do the talking for you. If you keep sledging, you probably aren’t any good. That wasn’t the West Indian way. Five and half ounces coming at you at 90mph is more than enough!” the 56-year-old said.

Having made his international debut during a time when West Indies team was brimming with fast bowling talent, Ambrose said he never got overwhelmed and always wanted to be the best

“When I first made the West Indies team alongside the late, great Malcolm Marshall, as well as Courtney Walsh and Patrick Patterson, I never wanted to be second. I am a proud person and wanted to be the best I can be,”Ambrose recalled.

“I quickly realised for most opposition teams they were probably thinking ‘Curtly is a rookie, so just see off Marshall, Walsh and Patterson’. I never wanted that and I was forced to learn quickly so I wouldn’t be the weak link in the chain. Because of my pride, that catapulted me to stardom,” he added.