Monday, July 15, 2024

Bazball ‘is nothing new’, insists Curtly Ambrose – as iconic fast bowler insists England’s style of cricket has a ‘fancy name’ but was being played by West Indies and Australia ‘for many years’

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  • England face West Indies in the first of a three-match Test series on Wednesday

West Indies fast-bowling legend Curtly Ambrose has ridiculed Bazball as England enter the second phase of the Test revamp led by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes.

Ambrose, whose 405 Test wickets included 164 in 34 games against England at just 18 apiece, said he had no interest in a style of play that he believes was patented by West Indies and Australia – and insisted England’s approach was ‘nothing new’.

‘This Bazball thing, I never gave it much thought, to be honest,’ said the 60-year-old Ambrose, who played the last of his 98 Tests at The Oval in 2000. 

‘West Indies and Australian teams back in the day, they were always aggressive players. So what England are doing, by going on the attack and all that stuff, is nothing new.

‘Bazball has a fancy name, but I never thought it about for a second. I just ignore it. It’s nothing new. That’s been going on now for many years. We know the English tend to play cricket a little bit different – maybe a bit slower. So all of a sudden they decide to go on the attack and create a new name. I don’t want to hear about it.’

West Indies legend Curtley Ambrose has hit out at the plaudits for England’s ‘Bazball’ cricket

They have been hailed for their attacking intent under Brendon McCullum (left) and Ben Stokes

They have been hailed for their attacking intent under Brendon McCullum (left) and Ben Stokes

England have scored at 4.59 an over since McCullum and Stokes joined forces two years ago. Australia’s fastest year – with a minimum of three Tests – came in 2003, when they scored at 4.08 an over, while West Indies have never scored at quicker than 3.58 in a calendar year.

Ambrose believes West Indies’s fast bowlers – Shamar Joseph, Alzarri Joseph and Jayden Seales – ‘have the firepower to bowl England out twice’. But he added: ‘My only concern is you have to get runs on the board.’

England CricketBen Stokes

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