West Indies legend in the running as applications close on January 10
Sir Curtly Ambrose, the former West Indies fast bowler, has applied for a coaching role at the ECB.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Ambrose, who has the lowest bowling average of any man to take 400 Test wickets (20.99), has applied for the role of elite pace-bowling coach advertised about three weeks ago.
If he is successful, he will be expected to work with England’s ‘next in line’ pace bowlers to ensure they are prepared for the rigours of international cricket. He will also, from time to time, be expected to assist with the senior squad and lead A tours.
Ambrose has previously had spells as bowling coach of West Indies – he was in the role when the team won the World T20 in 2016 – as well as in the CPL (he was with Guyana Amazon Warriors for three years). He also spent three years as assistant coach of the Combined Campuses and Colleges in Caribbean regional cricket. He is qualified to Level 3 standard.
While Ambrose has a reputation as a man of few words, he has also emerged as an erudite media figure and continues to enjoy a secondary career as a bass player in a band.
The elite fast bowling position is one of three coaching jobs currently advertised by the ECB. Applications for the roles, which also include an elite spin bowling coach and an elite batting coach – close at 5pm on January 10. Jon Lewis, the former Gloucestershire and Sussex swing bowler who has a strong relationship with his former team-mate Jofra Archer, probably remains favourite for the elite fast bowling position, though Ambrose is a strong candidate.
He might prove especially useful ahead of England’s next Ashes tour. Ambrose’s record in Australia – 78 wickets in 14 Tests at a cost of 19.79 apiece – is exceptional, and includes a famous spell of seven wickets for one run in Perth in 1992-93. During that spell, he bowled an impeccable length, refusing to be seduced by the bounce of the WACA wicket and instead searched for the top of off stump and the batsmen’s outside edges. As an example, the likes of Archer, Mark Wood and Olly Stone could hardly do better.
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo