Antigua: Former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has come out in defence of Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar, who recently said that he has a "few problems" when people call off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin "one of the all-time greats of the game".
"We all have our different opinions. We all look at greatness in different ways. Sanjay Manjrekar was a wonderful cricketer in his time. He has his opinion of that; we all have our views. But, how do you define greatness? That is a good question," Ambrose said on The Curtly and Karishma Show on YouTube.
"Because sometimes, to be quite fair, we use the word greatness loosely. So, we have to be careful with how we define greatness. According to me, greatness is when a player can be very consistent over a period of time, for years, not one or two years," said the West Indian great, who has taken 405 wickets in 98 Tests and 225 wickets in 176 ODIs.
Manjrekar had said that Ashwin didn't have a five-wicket innings haul in certain countries.
"When people start talking about him (Ashwin) as being one of the all-time greats of the game then I have a few problems. One basic problem I have with Ashwin is that when you look at SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) countries, Ashwin doesn't have a single five-wicket haul there," he had said.
Manjrekar's comment created a storm on social media, and Ashwin's fans criticised him for his views.
Ashwin, who has played 78 Tests and taken 409 wickets, has 30 five-wicket hauls, most of them on Indian pitches.
Ambrose opined the best way to determine greatness was to look at the overall growth of a player since he made his debut.
"Some guys can come into international cricket, and for two or three years, set the world on fire. And, for the next six to seven years, they do nothing. You cannot really judge on the first two or three years. It is over a period of time, through a whole career. At the end of your career, you can be judged if you were great or good or average," said Ambrose.