The iconic exchange between former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh and ex-West Indies pace bowler Curtly Ambrose during Australia's tour of West Indies in 1995 is remembered by many cricket lovers till date. The incident happened in the third Test with the 5-match series hanging in the balance as Australia were leading 1-0. The teams that both countries were playing sported legends like Steve Waugh, Curtly Ambrose, Brian Lara and a young Shane Warne. Here is what exactly transpired between Waugh and Ambrose.
Steve Waugh was playing under the captaincy of Mark Taylor in the third Test at Port of Spain and the Australian team was having a hard time. Only the senior Waugh managed to stick around at the crease and make a gritty 63*. During this knock, Waugh was in the firing range of the legendary Curtly Ambrose, who used to let the ball do the talking. However, this match created some iconic moments which were rarely seen in cricket. Ambrose was seen standing up to Steve Waugh and ready to swing a punch at him as his captain Richie Richardson pulled him behind.
In his autobiography, Sir Curtly Ambrose mentioned that he did not know what Steve Waugh had exactly said to him but a teammate had alerted him of Waugh using a few cuss words in his sledges. The West Indies team of that era did not do too well with being cussed at and Ambrose got triggered enough to stand up to Waugh and ask him to tone it down. Ambrose mentioned in his autobiography that he rarely ever cusses and the fact that he cussed at Waugh was enough to make it clear that he was riled up. The legendary pacer admitted that he was ready to punch Waugh had his captain not pulled him back.
"Junior" Mark Waugh recently spoke to cricket.com.au spoke about the match and those moments. He mentioned how trying to get under the skin of Curtly Ambrose seemed like a bad idea to him but did not seem to deter his elder brother. Mark Waugh felt it could be that Steve Waugh's actions were a sign of him standing up for the team and trying to intimidate the intimidators. West Indies cricket had dominated the Test cricket scene with young talents like Brian Lara and legends like Curtly Ambrose for almost 15 years. It was after 1995 that the Windies began to fall off while Australian cricket began to dominate with the likes of Steve Waugh, Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting.
Here is a video that captures those iconic moments.
(Footage courtesy: Cricket West Indies/robelinda2)