LAHORE: Former West Indian bowling great Curtly Ambrose expressed disappointment at Pakistan’s isolation in world cricket, adding that other ‘teams should follow Zimbabwe’s lead.’
The 51-year-old Ambrose, in the back drop of the launch of his autobiography ‘Time to Talk’, said he had fond memories of playing cricket in Pakistan and playing away from home would affect the development of local cricketers.
“It’s very sad that Pakistan has not been able to host international cricket for a number of years and has had to play all of its cricket outside Pakistan. Ideally, every team should be able to play cricket at home. I’m very glad that everything went well with the series against Zimbabwe and I hope that international cricket returns to Pakistan on a regular basis,” Ambrose told Pakpassion in an interview.
The man from Antigua, who formed a lethal fast-bowling pair along with Courtney Walsh in the 90s, said it had always been a challenge playing Pakistan in Pakistan.
“I’ve had the pleasure of playing against some great Pakistan teams and brilliant Pakistani players like Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Inzamam-ul-Haq and it was never easy playing against Pakistan especially in Pakistan. My first tour of Pakistan was in 1990 when we drew the Test series 1-1. I went back there in 1991 where we won the ODI series 2-0 and then in 1997 where we lost that Test series 3-0.”
Ambrose echoed the sentiments of the Zimbabwe team, the first side to tour Pakistan after the 2009 terrorist attack on visiting Sri Lanka squad, in saying that crowds had always supported good cricket in the country.
“I always enjoyed playing in Pakistan. The spectators would turn up in great numbers and they enjoyed seeing the West Indies team and they were very sporting crowds who appreciated good cricket from both teams and supported both teams. I’ve had some very good times in Pakistan and the memories of touring Pakistan are very fond ones.”
Responding to recent developments in Pakistan, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief said on Saturday the world body was doing all it could to boost the return of international matches in the country.
“It is not as if we don’t support having international cricket in Pakistan. I thought it was a boost for Pakistan with the passion their people showed for the Zimbabwe series.
“International cricket needs Pakistan as a strong cricket nation and team and we are always looking at ways to support them,” he stated.