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‘I’ll knock you out’ – When Ambrose broke sledging rule to threaten Waugh

by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

For most of his career, Curtly Ambrose was a quiet bowler who let the ball do the talking, but there was one instance, during a Test in Trinidad in 1995, when Steve Waugh riled him up, and saw his other side.

Ambrose was speaking in the Sky Sports Cricket Podcast, alongside Ian Bishop, the former West Indies quick, and former England captains Nasser Hussain and Michael Atherton.

Ambrose spoke of the West Indian way – “if you’re good enough at what you do, you let the 5.5 ounces do the talking for you” – but then went on to recount the one time he had to break that stance.

“Steve Waugh and I had our battles over the years,” he said. “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.

“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.

“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 any more’. There were a few expletives in between obviously!

“I was upset as I deserved more respect – but it started and ended there. I have seen him a few times since and we have never spoken about it.”

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