County news December 14, 2009

Adams believes Hamilton-Brown can take Surrey to the top

Cricinfo staff

Chris Adams, the Surrey coach, believes Rory Hamilton-Brown, the 22-year-old Sussex allrounder, has the 'charisma and intelligence' to lead Surrey to the top of English cricket.

Hamilton-Brown, who is currently with England's Performance Programme squad in South Africa, moved to Sussex from the Oval in 2008 but Adams, who joined Surrey after the 2008 season, is hoping to attract Hamilton-Brown back to London when they talk on Wednesday.

"We've got sell him the vision," said Adams to Surrey TV. "The journey that we have begun here which we hope will be a very special one. I want Surrey to go back to the top of English cricket, that's what I'm doing here."

After a difficult first year in charge in which Surrey won just one of their 16 Division Two Championship matches and culminated in captain Mark Butcher's retirement, Adams said the club needs a leader who can inspire and galvanise the squad as the club moves forward and claims that 'Surrey lad' Hamilton-Brown is the man to do so.

"We need a new captain who really brings the players together and if you look at the guys out there currently, there's not a massive list. Rory's name came right at the very top. I know the lad, he's a super talented cricketer and he's a Surrey lad first and foremost.

"He's had 85% of his cricket through the Surrey system and a couple of years at Sussex, he's developed exceptionally well and the time is right for me and him to come together and formulate a partnership which will take Surrey back to where it needs to be - the top of English cricket."

Hamilton-Brown would become the youngest captain on the county circuit and would have to manage the famously volatile temperament of star-batsman Mark Ramprakash. Yet Adams believes the English game can be too conservative and points to the example of Graeme Smith, who got the South African captaincy at the age of 22, to show what can be achieved.

"Captains are born. You need charisma and intelligence and the ability to get people to follow you and Rory has that," said Adams.

"One of the problems of English cricket is that we're too steeped in tradition, When we're presented with an opportunity like this we tend to rule it out. But look at Graeme Smith - he captained South Africa at 22, look at Cameron White, now in Australia's one-day team - captained Victoria at 20."