James Henry Kenneth Adams
September 23, 1980, Winchester, Hampshire
Left hand Bat
Left arm Medium
Sherborne School, Loughborough University
Jimmy Adams, a dedicated and selfless opening batsman and brilliant fielder, was a fine servant for his home county, Hampshire, for well over a decade. Higher honours passed him by but at domestic level he has enjoyed great success in one-day cricket and grew into a fine captain after his appointment in 2012. Captaincy had come late, however, as he was well past his 30th birthday and it gradually weighed on him. By the end of 2015 he had conceded both the limited-overs and Championship captaincies to James Vince. His Twitter account neatly summed up the pressures on a county pro with family responsibilities: "Lucky husband & father (if a little tired), part time dog walker & crabby cricketer."
He retired at 38 at the end of the 2018 season with more than 20,000 runs in all competitions since his first-class debut in 2002. A self-effacing quote in his final season probably summed up the dedication involved. "I wouldn't teach any youngster to bat like me," he said.
Adams was a central part of a golden era for Hampshire in one-day cricket, winning trophies in 2009, 2010, and a double in 2012. First-class performances have waned in that period and Adams was tasked with reviving the club following relegation in the County Championship 2011. He guided Hampshire back up by winning the Division Two title in 2014 before his successor, Vince, transformed their Championship form in 2015 to keep them in Division One on the final day.
Born in Winchester, Adams represented England Under-19s and broke into the Hampshire side at the end of the 2002 season, after which he became a regular. In 2005 he was part of the side who finished runners-up in the County Championship. A year later he made 168 as Hampshire chased down 404 to win at Headingley and scored over 1000 runs in a season for the first-time, earning his county cap after an unbeaten 262 at Trent Bridge.
He made over 1000 Championship runs in both 2009 and 2010. Both seasons also brought one-day success with a Friends Provident Trophy win, where Adams made a half-century in the final, and a maiden T20 title respectively as Adams became the first player to score over 600 runs in a domestic T20 season. Hampshire's victory on their home ground was the first of four consecutive Finals Day appearances which also saw them lift the title in Cardiff in 2012.
2012 was also Hampshire's first summer back in Division Two of the County Championship and Adams was made captain, in succession to Dominic Cork. He showed the way with 987 runs at a shade under 50 but it would be two more seasons before Adams could celebrate promotion. Adams made 1215 runs as Hampshire won the Division Two title in 2014, including a matchwinning 231 against Leicestershire.
The captaincy conceded, he continued to be a vital cog in Hampshire's side deep into his 30s and his off-field attributes remained as a Clubman of the Year award testified in 2017.
Batting & Fielding