London, May 23: Legendary fast bowler and current bowling coach of the West Indies Curtly Ambrose believes they should focus in the short term on a top three spot in world cricket, instead of concerning themselves with trying to return to the pinnacle of the global game.
The 51-year-old on Friday said with the West Indies languishing at number eight for some while now, consistency needed to be the focus, and contended that a gradual process was required to see them move up the international rankings, reports CMC.
"From what I'm seeing at the moment, it is going to be very, very difficult. How can you really recreate the mid-70s to the mid-90s with all those talented cricketers? That's almost impossible," Ambrose told TalkSport Radio here.
"But what our plan is at the moment is to be more consistent, win some games, win some series and move up the ICC rankings. We're looking to get into the top three in the world first and if we can manage to do that over a period of time, then we can start thinking about number one."
The Caribbean outfit dominated the world game during the 1970s and 1980s, with players of the calibre of Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Malcolm Marshall and Desmond Haynes at the forefront.
Ambrose was part of the fine tradition, snaring 405 wickets from 98 Tests, to be only behind Courtney Walsh with 519, on the all-time West Indies list.
The giant Antiguan said aiming in the short term to reproduce this type of success and return to number one would be unrealistic for the current side.
"You can't think about number one at the moment because you're number eight so let's focus on getting into the top three first and then we can think about number one after that," he stressed.
"We've got to be realistic. It is not going to be so easy to jump from number eight to number three overnight."
Earlier this month, the West Indies produced a shock performance to beat England in the final game of the three-Test series at Kensington Oval and come away with a 1-1 draw.
They face Australia in a two-Test series in the Caribbean starting next month.