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'Just keep it simple' - Ambrose

Curtly Ambrose, the former West Indian fast bowler, has told the current lot of bowlers to avoid trying to be too ambitious on the Caribbean's unhelpful pitches. He said the players needed to understand that conditions were different to when he was playing.

"Just keep it simple," Ambrose said. "The pitches nowadays aren't really conducive to fast bowling and it can be a big turnoff. I would say to the guys, just try and forget about the pitch and go out there and do the best you can."

The West Indies have lost all three of their World Cup Super Eights matches so far and must win their next three, as well as rely on other teams' results, if they are to have any hope of making the semi-finals. The hosts have just two points in the standings, courtesy their win over fellow qualifiers Ireland in the group stage.

Their bowlers conceded 322 in their first Super Eights match against Australia, which they lost by 103 runs, a match where Ambrose felt the bowlers got carried away. "Bowl a proper line and length consistently, you will get wickets and will be successful," he said. "They tried too many things against Australia."

Surprisingly, the hosts dropped Jerome Taylor in their second match against New Zealand to accommodate an extra batsman, Lendl Simmons, but still lost by seven wickets. Ambrose said omitting a bowler was a blunder.

"I have always been of the opinion that you should never weaken your bowling to strengthen the batting, I figure if the batsmen you have selected can't do the job, then you replace them," he said. "I really don't comment on selection but I am going to say 'support the guys' whichever team is playing out there."

The West Indies also lost to Sri Lanka by 113 runs, a defeat which further hit their chances of reaching the last four. Ambrose, who took 405 Test and 225 one-day wickets during his illustrious career, said like all other West Indian fans he too was upset with events at the World Cup. "I can't say that I am a happy man at the moment because we are not doing too well and as a West Indian and a patriot I can't stand losing," he said.

The defeats have left millions of Caribbean fans disappointed, former players looking for scapegoats and organisers fearing for the financial implications of seeing even emptier stadiums for the remaining matches. West Indies take on South Africa in Grenada on Tuesday where a defeat will confirm their elimination from the tournament.