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October 2, 2008
Paul Adams, who burst onto the international scene after only five first-class matches for Western Province in 1995-96, has announced his retirement from professional cricket.
A chinaman bowler with a unique action, famously described as resembling "a frog in a blender", he took eight wickets on his Western Province debut against Northerns, earning him a call-up for South Africa A against England where he took 9 for 181 in the match. Six weeks later he became the youngest person to play for South Africa when picked for the Boxing Day Test at Port Elizabeth. He took eight wickets in the last two Tests of the series as South Africa won 1-0.
Adams bamboozled batsmen in his early appearances, but his effectiveness diminished with familiarity. In his first three series he took 31 wickets at 25.06 but he was rarely as effective again.
He was further hampered by injuries, while always prone to the occasional bad ball and as these became more frequent he was seen by the selectors as too much of a gamble. Even at provincial level, captains appeared reluctant to pick him and he drifted into the second tier of domestic cricket.
The last of his 45 Tests was at Hamilton in March 2004 where he took 2 for 118. He finished with 134 wickets at 32.87, and in all first-class cricket he took 412 at 32.66. His best return in Tests was 7 for 128 against Pakistan at Lahore in 2003-04.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.