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Sir Curtly Ambrose: Favourites tag could hurt Black Caps

The Cricket World Cup quarter-finals have been seriously one-sided so far but West Indies bowling coach Sir Curtly Ambrose warns that being favourites brings a new kind of pressure.

Ambrose, 51, should know. The 2.01 metre giant was part of the last great West Indies team and throughout his international career was often on the winning side.

His record of 405 wickets at 20.99 in Test cricket speaks for itself. The towering fast bowler was also a pretty handy one-day player - 225 wickets at 24.12 - and is one of seven living West Indian knights who made their name playing cricket.

But the days of Richards, Richardson and Ambrose are long gone. West Indies cricket is struggling ahead of the World Cup quarter-final against the Black Caps in Wellington on Saturday.

"They are the favourites to beat us and one of the favourites to win the World Cup. We are not," Ambrose said

"Obviously that extra pressure could take a toll if they are not strong enough mentally. Nothing to do with cricketing skills."

Ambrose believes the key for the West Indies is staying in the game early.

"If we can get a good start, blunt the attack early, then we could be in for a good ball game," Ambrose said.

The legendary fast bowler added that he was worried that the current rules of the one-day game were undermining the contest between bat and ball.

"It's too one-sided an the powers-that-be need to look at this seriously and make it a little more even, because at the moment it's all about batting," he told reporters in Wellington.

"The bowlers, they can't play cricket. Soon they might have to get in bowling machines."

Two cricketing greats warn not to write off the Windies. Source: 1 NEWS


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