Graves, who ??had not yet taken the role when he gave the interview in March, said: ???I???d certainly be disappointed if we don???t win the series, because I am pretty sure the West Indies are going to have a mediocre team.???
Captain Alastair Cook has since admitted his words were unhelpful after England left the Caribbean with a 1-1 draw from the three-Test series having lost the third match in Barbados.??
And Ambrose, who retired in 2000 after taking 405 Test wickets and now works as a bowling consultant for his country, said Graves’ accusation gave them great motivation.
He told Sky Sports: “England still have a wonderful team, some good talent, but we wanted to win the series because there was a comment made by the ECB chairman that we are a “mediocre team” and it it whould be a an easy walkover for England, that if England don’t win the series, they had to look into English cricket.??
“We used that as motivation to show we are better than mediocre. We wanted to win the series, to shut him up a little bit.”
After failing to press home their advantage in the first Test in Antigua, England won the second Test in Grenada only to then collapse in Barbados.
“It was a good series, a tough one,” added Ambrose. “We played extremely well in Antigua to save that game and I think in Grenada we were doing quite well until one Jimmy Anderson had different ideas.??
“He had a good spell for an hour-and-a-half that really took the game away from us. In Barbados, it was a poorly-prepared pitch, but we were quite happy to win the game and draw the series.”