Ambrose ready to play as specialist batsman

Former England wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose is prepared to play for Warwickshire as a specialist batsman if it means reclaiming his first team place.

Ambrose was displaced by promising youngster Richard Johnson last season after he lost form and was weighed down by personal problems.

But the 28-year-old has returned from a relaxing winter back home in Australia with his batteries recharged and ready to remind Warwickshire supporters of his talents.

Ambrose kept in the one-day matches on Warwickshire’s pre-season tour to Barbados and also in last week’s friendly against Leicestershire at Grace Road.

A decision has yet to be made on who will keep when Warwickshire open their County Championship campaign against Somerset at Taunton next week, but Ambrose will settle for a batting role if it means regular first team cricket.

“The wicketkeeping position hasn’t been discussed yet, I’m sure the management will be keeping their options open,” Ambrose said. “I am a wicketkeeper and always have been, that’s part of what I do. But if I play just as a batsman I will grab the opportunity if it means playing in a side that is getting stronger and stronger.

“We showed last year by winning a trophy that we are moving in the right direction and it’s exciting to be part of it.”

The end of last season could not come soon enough for Ambrose who scored just 267 Championship runs at an average of just 13. He retreated into his shell for long periods but eventually opened up to director of cricket Ashley Giles who offered Ambrose a new one-year contract and the chance to start afresh.

Ambrose had a spell playing for the Mosman club in Sydney during the winter alongside county team-mate Andy Miller and has returned to England looking relaxed and optimistic.

“I didn’t play a lot of cricket but it was good to spend time with family over Christmas and just relaxing and enjoying life,” Ambrose said. “We had access to local facilities including a gym but when the sun is shining you don’t really want to be staying inside too much.”

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