Jimmy Adams has spoken of his pride after being appointed as captain for Hampshire’s new era.
The 30-year-old left-hander made his first-class debut for the county way back in 2002 and took the reins on a temporary basis towards the end of the season when it was decided that Dominic Cork would not be offered a new contract.
It’s a popular choice, both in the dressing room and among supporters, as the affable Winchester-born batsman gets his opportunity to skipper his home county.
And following in the footsteps of some illustrious names who have captained Hampshire in the past such as Shane Warne, Robin Smith, Mark Nicholas and Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie, Adams is keen to get started.
He said: ‘It’s a very proud moment. I’ve had a little taster this year and I’m looking forward to a winter of planning and preparation to be ready for next season.
‘I didn’t think it would ever happen when I joined 10 years ago. I didn’t think it would happen even five years ago, if I’m honest.
‘Hopefully, I can do half as good a job as some of the captains that have gone before me.
‘But there is a bigger agenda here. We’ve got to get promoted as soon as possible and create a culture that this stadium, Rod Bransgrove and many others here deserve.’
While Cork was a strong character who commanded respect for all of his achievements in the game, there were a few suggestions that all was not well behind the scenes in recent times.
There were also suggestions that the gap between the older players and the youngsters coming through was simply too large, with more than 20 years separating some of them.
And with so many youngsters now being given their opportunity to stake a claim for regular first-team action, Adams’ more approachable and easy manner looks to be an ideal fit.
The fact he is Hampshire born and bred will win him some extra backing from the supporters, but Adams himself admits he must strike the right balance between getting his side to enjoy their cricket and guiding them to win matches and challenge for promotion from division two.
And as a reliable performer, he will certainly add stability.
He said: ‘I don’t think there will be any radical change.
‘I know I’ve got to find something that sits comfortably with me.
‘I want us to enjoy our cricket and play with a smile so I’m not afraid for us to be Happy Hampshire in many ways.
‘But I think we need to have a steely core underneath that, so that when the going gets tough, we can mix it with the best.’