Walsh aims to find a new Ambrose in Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s new bowling coach Courtney Walsh has said he wants to help his charges hunt in pairs much like he and Curtly Ambrose had done for West Indies for many years.
“I don’t see myself too much as a coach as I see myself as a mentor,” Walsh said at a press briefing on Sunday.
“I have always tried to get couple of fast bowlers under my wing to mentor when I played for Gloucester, Jamaica or West Indies. Curtly Ambrose was one of them. So if I can get a second Ambrose from Bangladesh, I will be happy. When he came into the team, he looked up to me. We formed one of the best striking partnerships in world cricket. If I can pass that to any two Bangladeshi fast bowlers, I will be very happy.”
Walsh, who was the fifth-highest wicket-taker in Test history after a 17-year career, hoped to be a “father figure” to the Bangladesh bowlers and wanted to guide them much like his own seniors had done for him.
“I can help them relive some of the situations they might find themselves into,” he said. “A player can sometimes help you get out of it. I remember Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding and Joel Garner. When I just started, that’s what they did for me. I hope to pass that on to the Bangladesh team.
“I want to pass on to the Bangladeshi guys that you have to be strong and be prepared for hard work, maintain physically and consistency. If we can work hand in hand with those two, we will be headed in the right path. It won’t happen overnight. We have to put in some ground work. Once we get the basics right, you will see a lot of improvement and consistency.”
This was Walsh’s first time coaching an international team and he had been unsure about taking on such a responsibility.
“The offer was something that I had to think twice about,” he said. “I remember when Nizam [Nizamuddin Chowdhury, BCB CEO] got in touch with me and said they were interested, I said let me think about it. We went back and forth but when he said, ‘you are our No. 1 target,’ that was something that I gave it a serious consideration. It showed that they wanted take the cricket to another level.
“I want to thank Nizam for letting me know that I was their No. 1 target. He said the president wanted to ensure that I was here. I arrived here last night to do the best I can for Bangladesh cricket working with the head coach. Together we can achieve some good success for Bangladesh cricket.”
Walsh was the second West Indian in a coaching role with Bangladesh after Gordon Greenidge had steered them to qualify for the 1999 World Cup by winning the 1997 ICC Trophy.
“I didn’t get a chance to speak to Gordon [Greenidge] because I actually went away to play a game and he was in England,” Walsh said. “But beforehand, I used to quiz him about Bangladesh and he was happy to be a part of this. That would help me as well.
“I am hoping that next time I speak to him, he will be happy with the state of Bangladesh cricket and the direction it is headed.”
Walsh has signed a three-year deal with Bangladesh which would end with the 2019 World Cup. (ESPNCricinfo)