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Monday, 4 September, 2000, 15:38 GMT 16:38 UK
Ambrose: A true great
Curtly Ambrose
Ambrose tormenting English batsmen - a familiar sight
English batsmen may not be too sorry to see the back of him but the retirement of Curtly Ambrose is a sad loss to Test cricket and in particular the West Indian pace attack.

But while the West Indies batsmen have struggled on their tour of England this season the most memorable moment of the summer for Caribbean fans saw Ambrose join an elite club of just five bowlers who have taken more than 400 Test wickets.

Ambrose reached that landmark when he had Michael Atherton caught at slip by Brian Lara in the fourth Test at Headingley, 96 Tests and 13 years after making his West Indies debut against Pakistan at Georgetown, Guyana.

While he has taken wickets against all of the Test playing nations it is against England that he has enjoyed most success.

In 34 Test appearances against England he has taken a staggering 164 wickets.

  Curtly Ambrose profile
Born: 21.9.63
Test debut: v Pakistan at Georgetown, 1st Test 1987/88
Tests: 98
Test wickets: 405
Test runs: 1439
Best bowling: 8 for 45 v England at Barbados in 1990
Highest score: 53 v Australia at Trinidad in 1991

His pace may have dropped from his younger days but the 36-year-old still possesses all the necessary know how to trouble the world's top batsmen.

His first overseas tour in England in 1988 saw him take 22 wickets but he had to wait until his 10th appearance to collect his first five wicket haul against Australia in Perth.

Curtly Ambrose
Ambrose is mobbed after claiming another Test victim
Having been forced to withdraw from a contract to play for Northamptonshire due to touring commitments the previous year, Ambrose enjoyed his first taste of county cricket in 1989 and during six seasons of the English domestic game he claimed more than 300 victims.

He made just three appearances during England's 1990 tour of the West Indies but still managed to collect 20 wickets, including a career-best eight for 45 in Barbados.

Only Courtney Walsh, Kapil Dev, Sir Richard Hadlee and Wasim Akram have claimed more Test victims, but the giant Antiguan has the lowest average and meanest economy rate of the 400 club.

And the difficulty that batsmen have found in scoring off Curtly Elconn Lynwall Ambrose was illustrated in his final appearance at The Oval as he bowled his 1000th maiden in Test cricket.

See also:

30 Aug 00 | England v West Indies
18 Aug 00 | England v West Indies
18 Aug 00 | England v West Indies
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