Sussex's Championship victory

Adams: 'This caps everything'

Wisden CricInfo staff

September 18, 2003

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Chris Adams, Sussex captain
"It is the biggest day of my cricket career. I was lucky enough to play for England, which was very special. But the stress we have gone through over the past two or three weeks makes this something else. It has been a long journey over the past six years, and we have worked very hard for it.

"This caps everything. It has been an outstanding season. A lot of the core membership have been coming for years. We have given them lots of great times before, but I am sure every one of them will remember this day and treasure it forever. At a time when everyone is having a go at the county game, this club has stayed strong and stuck to its guns. We are the underdogs - but we have gunned down the big teams in Surrey and Lancashire."

Peter Moores, Sussex's director of cricket
"There's been a lot of pressure on us but the lads have come through and I'm just really, really pleased. I think we have been the best team without a shadow of a doubt - what a fantastic achievement. It's great for us to finish on top but all credit to all those who took part.

"We were writing down some of the outstanding performers the other day and there's too many to list. The bowlers have done well. They've all done it when it counted. Chris Adams has been a fantastic captain, he has matured every year. When it really counts he has played beautifully. All credit to the team - they've grown as the season's gone on. Now we've got to defend it."

James Kirtley, Sussex vice-captain and England bowler
"Words can't describe it. It's not just been a year's work - it has been years and years. People have huge ambitions at this club and to secure the title is a special day for Sussex County Cricket Club. Peter Moores has brought ambition and the will and desire to improve and in Chris Adams I have never met a bigger winner in my life. I think we've got a fantastic unit but I think we'd be naïve not to think we could have improvement in certain areas. We've already started to talk about where changes can be made."

Imran Khan, Sussex player from 1977 to 1988
"I am delighted. Since I am so actively involved in politics I never get to know what's happening in international cricket, although occasionally I get to talk to John Barclay, who was our captain in 1981. When we came second to Nottinghamshire that season, it was because they had Eddie Hemmings supporting [Richard] Hadlee and [Clive] Rice. I tried to bring in Abdul Qadir but somehow it did not materialise."

Former Sussex captain Ted Dexter
"We had our old boys' reunion the Saturday before last when they were playing Middlesex and they played so fantastically well - they were in a huge hole, but they climbed out of it and won the game. Little Mush [Mushtaq Ahmed] has made a huge difference, but they've got a good allround side. When the big names fail, then somebody chips in."

Alan Wells, Sussex captain from 1992 to 1996
"It's been a fantastic team effort. Mushtaq's taken 100 wickets and he'll probably take most of the accolades but Andrew Caddick took 100 wickets for Somerset [in 1998], and they never won anything. It's not just about taking wickets, it's about scoring runs and the top order, the middle and lower-middle order have at some stage during the season scored some vital runs.

"I played for Sussex Schools from the age of 15 onwards and had 16 years as a professional at Sussex. Although I had five fantastic years at Kent, which I thoroughly enjoyed, my heart remained with Sussex despite trying to do a professional job for them."

Tony Pigott, a Sussex player for 18 years, and a former chief executive
"When I took over we lost six capped players that winter - James Kirtley was on the verge of leaving - and the first thing we had to do was address that, stabliise the club and build for the future. The thing I wanted to do was to get everybody to work together as a unit - the players, the admin staff, the members, the committee, the sponsors, club cricketers - and buy into the vision.

One part of the vision was the win the Championship in five years. At the time, people thought I was completely mad. But this is the sixth year - so I was a year out."

Mike Watkinson, coach of second-placed Lancashire
"Being realistic, all the talk about [Lancashire winning] the title was a bit over the top. We came here knowing that Sussex would have to play very badly and Leicestershire to play very well in the Hove match for us to even have a glimmer of hope. It was never really on but full credit to Sussex for their success."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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