“Once upon a time” is a stock phrase used to introduce a narrative of past events, typically in fairy tales and folk tales, but this story is neither – it is real!
Legendary West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose was tempted to put his career on the line after an infamous incident happened during the 1995 Australia tour of the Caribbean.
The setting was a tightly contested third Test in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Ambrose, as the story goes took offense at remarks made by batsman Steve Waugh and in recounting the incident in an interview with Sky Sports Cricket Podcast said thus:
“Steve Waugh and I had our battles over the years. He was a tough competitor, and I have a lot of respect for him, but in that particular game, he said something to me that I didn’t like.”
He continued, “Initially, I ignored it, as in the heat of the battle, you can say things, but after a break, something just snapped.”
“I asked him, ‘did you say so and so to me?’ He didn’t say yes, he didn’t say no. He just said, ‘I can say anything I want to say’, which to me was a yes. I decided I deserved more respect, so I had a few choice words for him.”
Then all hell broke loose when Waugh decided to be confrontational.
“I said ‘my cricket career could be over right this minute, it doesn’t make a difference to me, but your career will be over, too, because I’ll knock you out and you won’t be able to play anymore.”
Luckily both men buried the hatchet, and Ambrose was named player of the match, with overall figures of 9 for 65, including a 4fer in the second innings.
Moreover, the Windies went on to win the match by nine wickets, albeit the Australians claimed the Frank Worrell Trophy, winning the series 2-1.
A happily ever after ending, some would say.
Carol May, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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