New dad Adams leads the way

Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry. Picture: Robin Jones
Hampshire skipper Jimmy Adams and Michael Carberry. Picture: Robin Jones
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New dad Jimmy Adams believes he has found a new perspective in his ambitions to lead Hampshire back to the top table of domestic cricket.

The popular Hampshire skipper became a father for the first time in January after his wife Donna gave birth to Jonah Frederick Joseph Adams.

But while the arrival of his son has Adams bursting with pride, it does not dilute the drive to get his club back into the top division of Championship cricket ahead of their curtain-raiser against Worcestershire on Sunday.

Adams smiled: ‘I’ve given him enough initials, so hopefully that will mean he’s got some captaincy in him!

‘We were thinking Freddie initially and that comes from Donna’s side of the family.

‘Joseph is my grandad’s name and Jonah was a bit of a random one really.

‘But it’s nightmare at home because the dog is called Juno.

‘Poor old Jonah has been called Junah, Juno, Jimmy and all sorts.

‘Anyone will tell you that it turns your world upside down but it’s probably helped that I’ve been able to spend a few months at home before we start going out on the road a bit more.

‘Going off to do the pre-season trip to Barbados was not smiled upon quite as much as last year, let’s put it that way.

‘But when you have a tough day at the office in terms of cricket, things are put into perspective very quickly.

‘Now I will probably use my days off a bit more efficiently.

‘There were times I would come down here and float about. I’d get stuck in a time warp trying to do stuff but I’ll be looking to manage my time more wisely and spend a bit more time at home with Donna and the little one.

‘It’s a bit manic, I’m not going to lie – but it’s fantastic.’

Away from the nappies and sleepless nights, Adams believes his side have their best chance in years of mounting a long overdue promotion challenge – mainly because of a new-look bowling attack.

While their overseas player – South African bowler Kyle Abbott – will not arrive in time for the first game, he should give Hampshire some much-needed firepower.

Adams said: ‘I feel like we have added some real quality to the side.

‘We have a high-quality overseas player in Kyle, who hopefully we will see a good amount of.

‘We’ve added Will Smith and Dale Benkenstein, who have both come from a four-day winning culture at Durham and that can only help us.

‘Will’s quality as a player and a person will be a big plus.

‘And Joe Gatting is an exciting signing. I hadn’t seen that much of him before.

‘I’d played against him a few times but you don’t get a full picture from that.

‘Watching him practice and play makes me think he could be a trump card this year.

‘Matt Coles and Ruel Brathwaite have bolstered the attack.

‘We saw Colesy when he arrived last year and he offers something different.

‘With James Tomlinson and David Balcombe, it’s a group that will do us a job throughout the year.

‘There are times over the past couple of years where we probably haven’t delivered on the pitch as much as we would like.

‘We’ve got to make sure we step it up.’