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Courtney Walsh recalls 'brotherly' partnership with Curtly Ambrose

Last Updated: 22/06/13 12:51pm

West Indies legend Courtney Walsh told Cricket AM about the brotherly relationship with Curtly Ambrose that formed the basis of their success.

The duo enjoyed one of the most formidable partnerships in cricket history in the 1990's and took over 900 Test wickets between them during their combined careers.

And Walsh, who was a guest on Cricket AM this week, said they treated each other like family during their playing days and ensured that they would compensate whenever their partner hit a rocky patch.

"What paid off for me and Curtly is that we didn't compete against each other, we complimented each other," he said.

"We worked well in tandem, we had a good understanding and we were more than cricketing friends, we were like brothers."

Courtney Walsh

"On my good days he would support me and on his good days I would support him - and when we both had good days batsmen were in trouble!

"We worked well in tandem, we had a good understanding and we were more than cricketing friends, we were like brothers.

"We had that understanding, we worked for each other, he would die for me and I would die for him. The days that he struggled were the days that I tried to make sure I didn't struggle.

"At his last Test match at Lord's we were both trying to get on the honours board and I remember him struggling with his run-up. I said to the skipper that he was struggling a little bit because you could see it.

"It was probably my best Test match in terms of fluency and everything and I ended up bowling some of his overs. A lot of people on the outside wouldn't have known that, but he was really struggling that day.

"The batsmen still couldn't get him away, but you could see the ball wasn't coming out of his hand correctly. That's when, in terms of partnership, I stood up for him and made sure that I did a lot more of the bowling so that he could try to recover.

"That's the understanding that we had. If I was struggling he would have done the same for me."

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The Jamaican paceman made his Test debut against Australia in 1988 and didn't bowl a ball in the first innings due to the form of the legendary pace attack of Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Malcolm Marshall.

He admits he was initially intimidated by playing alongside the trio, but that ultimately he learned lessons from all of them that helped him to develop into one of the finest bowlers in history.

Walsh added: "I tried to learn from all three of them, which I did, and I think that's what helped me through my career and I tried to pass that on to some of the younger players when I played.

"I shared a room with all three gentlemen and the advice these guys gave me as a youngster was second to none.

"Obviously Michael Holding and myself came from the same club back home, so we were like brothers so to speak. He was like my bigger brother and looked after me.

"The tips they gave you was to watch them in practice and you learned so much from them just by being around."

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