West Indies cricket. Former West Indies speedstar Curtly Ambrose felt there should be certain changes in the playing conditions to make Test matches more exciting in the coming days.
He advocated creating quicker pitches and removing restrictions on short-pitched bowling.
The former West Indies new ball bowler warned that if changes are not made to make Test cricket more exciting, the level of interest in the present format will continue to decline.
“The two-bouncers-per-over rule (restricting the number of short-pitched balls a fast bowler can deliver) has also taken away a lot of the flair from cricket,” said Ambrose. “The International Cricket Council needs to look at it again.”
Attendances in Test matches around the world are already dwindling and some Tests are even played against a backdrop of empty seats in different venues.
“If a fast bowler can bowl only a limited number of short balls, you’re taking away a weapon from him,” he said in an interview.
“If a batsman is playing the hook shot, the fast bowler needs to be able to see whether that was a fluke, or whether he is serious. Of course, the umpire should step in if the bowler is overdoing it but don’t take away the excitement. It’s so difficult for a fast bowler today.”
Sir Curtly, one of the most menacing fast bowlers in the history of cricket, will mentor the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2014 Caribbean Premier League (CPL), which started on Friday in Grenada.
“Today things are very one-sided. It is all about the batsmen, while some of the wickets are so slow and low that it is difficult to play well,” said the former Antiguan cricketer who is also part of the West Indies coaching team.
“If you go to a Test match and there is no excitement, it is going to turn people away. If there is a good fast bowler who can rattle the batsman, people enjoy that. When a batsman takes on a fast bowler, people love that competition, regardless of which teams are playing. That is certainly the case in the Caribbean.”