West Indian fast bowling legend Curtly Ambrose has revealed the story about his infamous on-field spat with Steve Waugh in 1995, during which he says he came close to trying to “knock out” the Australian batsman.
In his autobiography, Ambrose explained the verbal duel he and Waugh had on the first day of the third Test at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad, with the hosts trailing 0-1 in the four-match series.
After hearing from a teammate that Waugh had sworn at him, Ambrose had asked the Australian why did he do it, to which the right-handed batsman replied: “I can say what I want to say”.
“That was when I ripped into him and let him have it: ‘Man, don’t you effing swear at me again.’ And I don’t swear a lot so for me to use expletives it was clear that my anger was at boiling point. I lost it.
If he had said nothing to what I had asked him, or even told me he didn’t swear, it would have ended right there, but when he came back at me again with all guns blazing, there was no holding back,” Ambrose was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“I got seriously heated. I told him, ‘Man, I will knock you out – here and now. I don’t care if I have no career left’. That was when Richie intervened and told me to forget about it, and it was a good job he did because my ability to restrain myself was gone.”
The then 29-year-old Waugh contributed an unbeaten 63 for Australia’s total of 128 in the first innings where Ambrose took 5/45 and went on to win the man-of-the-match award as West Indies won by nine wickets to level the series 1-1.