Adams benefits from staying focused

Jimmy Adams. Picture: Neil Marshall
Jimmy Adams. Picture: Neil Marshall
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It’s testament to the type of bloke he is that Jimmy Adams admits he is worried about his benefit year.

Cricket’s equivalent of the testimonial for loyal and outstanding service to a club was bestowed upon the modest 34-year-old as he leads Hampshire in their return to Championship division one this year.

There’s no doubt it’s potentially lucrative to a cricketer coming towards the end of his career.

But Adams’ haul of 1,215 runs in leading his side to the division two title last season would suggest there is plenty of life in the old dog just yet.

He has already made his intentions clear to donate a significant chunk of the proceeds to charity with Parkinsons UK, Hampshire Cricket in the Community and the Professional Cricketers Association all set to profit from his generosity.

But his Hampshire side need the popular skipper’s runs and leadership more than a dip into his wallet.

And his overriding priority remains his task of steering the ship to further success this season and beyond.

Asked about the possible impact a benefit year could have on his form, Adams offered an honest assessment.

‘That is the biggest worry,’ he said.

‘I know I’ve got to get the balance right through the summer.

‘I need to be able to prepare for cricket in the same way as I always have.

‘If the off-field stuff takes up too much of my time, it will have an effect and that’s the last thing I want.

‘So that is the trickiest thing for me.

‘I’ve got some great people doing a lot of the work and there is a schedule of events. Things will start to take care of themselves over the course of the year.

‘But May will be an interesting month.

‘I’ve got my second child on the way and we’ve got six events in the space of about two weeks.

‘We’ve also got some games of cricket to play!’

Since making his first-class debut in 2002, Adams has accumulated 11,026 runs and scored 20 centuries.

His stats in limited-overs cricket are just as impressive with 2,978 runs in List A and 2,444 in t20.

But he still has ambitions in the game and, perhaps most importantly, retains his enjoyment of doing something he loves.

Adams said: ‘There is that association that a benefit year is at the tail-end of your career.

‘I’m not in the early part of my career by any stretch. But I still feel I have plenty to achieve.

‘There are a lot of things I have been very fortunate to be involved in and I have played cricket with a lot of great people down the years.

‘But I still enjoy it hugely and that is the biggest drive for me.

‘It’s a game and when you are enjoying it and doing well, it takes you back to why you first started playing.

‘Believe me, there are times when it’s not like that at all.

‘There are times when you face a bowler who is a bit sharp and you feel like you are a sitting duck as a batter.

‘Or if you drop a catch in the field, you don’t always think like that.

‘But if the overall picture is that you are enjoying what you are doing, you can’t ask for much more than that.’

For more information on the list of events, visit