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Perth diaries: Curtly Ambrose bowls as Indian scribes tour

PTI
Published Mar 3, 2015, 3:05 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 5:03 pm IST
WACA takes journalists for ground tour, former WI pacer rolls arms after years
On-field altercations: Former West Indies bowler Curtly Ambrose - a batsman's nightmare during his heydays - being dragged away by then captain Richie Richardson, from Australian batsman Steve Waugh. (Photo: AP)
 On-field altercations: Former West Indies bowler Curtly Ambrose - a batsman's nightmare during his heydays - being dragged away by then captain Richie Richardson, from Australian batsman Steve Waugh. (Photo: AP)

Perth: Old school cricket lovers and veterans had a joyride on Monday when the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) took Indian journalists for a tour of the ground here. What turned out to be the best sight at the West Indies net session in absence of Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy, was big Curtly Ambrose bowling from a four-step run-up and still hitting that line just on top of off-stump.

He bowled for good 25 minutes and not a single batsmen was seen going for a big booming drive. Probably, Ambrose can still wake up from his sleep and bowl that probing line.

 

Matthew Hayden in his autobiography 'Standing My Ground' wrote about his teammate Mark Waugh's famous comment on the big Antiguan, "Does he ever bowl a bad first over?", to which Hayden wrote, "Does he ever bowl a bad over?"

The answer lay in Ambrose's casual bowling at the nets.

Ask media manager Phillip Spooner for a chat with Ambrose, he would laugh and say, "Curtly doesn't love speaking. But read his autobiography which is releasing next month. He has said all that he wants to say."

In India, you could be blasted for roaming around in the vicinity of a cricket pitch but WACA ensured the scribes got a feel of what the fastest pitch in the world looks like.

A group 10 journalists were taken by curator Matthew Page and media manager Glen Foreman to centre of strip.

There was a statutory warning that came during our interaction with curator Page: "Please don't ask questions on what kind of runs are expected from the track as it violates the ICC's anti-corruption rules.”

But Page did give an insight on how the WACA strip is prepared.

The hardness comes from the red clay that is used for the strip and it comes from a place, Waroona.

Amidst all the information, when one touches one of strips, he is bound to feel that adrenaline rush thinking about India's glorious cricketing moments at the WACA.

Nineteen-year-old Sachin Tendulkar's epic ton on a deadliest of tracks against a top quality pace attack, comprising of Merv Hughes, Craig McDermott and Mike Whitney.

Ishant Sharma's spell to Ricky Ponting during the 2007-08, can't also be forgotten. And the famous story of Jeff Thomson bouncer which went over Rod Marsh's head and directly flew over the boundary ropes.

It is indeed a walk to remember.

The best place was Kings Park, a lovely botanical garden with giant Kimberly boabs (something like big banyan trees but with comparative dry branches). There is one that is 750-year-old.

As one goes near the 'War Memorial Drive', one get a sense of deja vu as it seems as if one is standing at 'Amar Jawan Jyoti' at the India Gate in Delhi. Only difference being it is for the Australian armymen, who had fought battles in places like Afghanistan, Iraq. On the base of the memorial is written "Contemplation Be Your Offering". 

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