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Interviews

Hose feeling at home in his new away role with Adelaide Strikers

He was viewed by some as a surprise draft pick but his T20 numbers this year are impressive

Cameron Ponsonby
13-Dec-2022
Adam Hose enjoyed a superb T20 Blast with Birmingham Bears  •  Getty Images

Adam Hose enjoyed a superb T20 Blast with Birmingham Bears  •  Getty Images

"What I've come to learn about the Aussies," says Adelaide Strikers' newest recruit Adam Hose. "Is they either rate you highly, which doesn't happen too often, or you're just s***. There's no inbetween."
It may be Hose's first time in the Big Bash, but it isn't his first rodeo in Australia. Or more to the point, Adelaide. A city he considers a home away from home having spent four seasons playing club cricket in South Australia's capital. Two for Tea Tree Gully when he was a teenager and two, more recently, for Kensington CC.
"Obviously we would have been grateful for any opportunity [to play in the Big Bash]," Hose caveats of his joy at returning to the city. "But for this one to come in Adelaide where we do kind of consider it a bit of a home away from home was just awesome."
"We," being the optimal word. When the call came through that Strikers' wanted Hose, he was straight on the phone to his partner to break the good news.
"She was in tears at the thought of being able to get out to Adelaide for a few months," he says. "My wife and I have some really close friends here, so when I got that call, it really was a best case scenario."
That Hose got the call at all - and his name surprised a few at the BBL draft - was off the back of a phenomenal T20 Blast season for Birmingham Bears where he finished as the competition's third top run scorer and with a strike-rate of 160.98 and 182 runs at a strike-rate of 159.64 in the Hundred for Northern Superchargers.
As a team, Bears revolutionised the T20 Blast as they scored over 200 in half their group stage games including scoring a competition record of 261 for 2 against Nottinghamshire. Hose cites their total that game, but leaves out the fact that he himself got 88 not out off 35 balls. An innings that included ten sixes.
"In terms of expectations, if it's something that I'm working towards to play for my country where you're always under the spotlight, how you deal with that pressure of being an overseas is something you just have to solve and accept."
It was an extreme innings, but one representative of a powerful player whose career strike-rate sits just below 150. Hose made his professional debut at 23, in a career that started at Somerset, moved to Warwickshire and will progress to Worcestershire next season as he is targeting a return to playing all-three formats. Hose hasn't played a red-ball game since 2019, a wrong that he wishes to right.
Nevertheless, 2022 was the best year of his career and it came off the back of a lean 2021 which prompted a change in mindset. He had become too results focused and too distracted by the potential of what's next to focus on the reality of what's now.
"It sounds so cliche," he says on more than one occasion, "but I'm now aware of how dangerous it can be to look too far ahead. So a huge part of my game and over the last 12 months is just literally trying to focus in on each and every day."
The results spoke for themselves, as 2022 brought an England Lions call-up and a trip to the CPL for the St Lucia Kings, all off the back of a record-breaking Bears' campaign.
Bears succeeded, Hose explains, because each player trusted in the ability of the other. It wasn't a case of go out and win the game yourself, but go out and whack it. Knowing that if you failed someone else will be there to mop up your mess.
It is an attitude that presents a challenge when shifting from the role of soldier in the ranks to overseas player standing out front. External pressures and expectations are greater when you've been brought in specifically to play the role of boy about town and where leaving it to the next bloke may be frowned upon rather than encouraged.
"My top goal still is, and hopefully will be throughout my career, to try and play for England," Hose says. "So in terms of expectations, if it's something that I'm working towards to play for my country where you're always under the spotlight, how you deal with that pressure of being an overseas is something you just have to solve and accept. And sort of acknowledge how those expectations can be dangerous but also something you can use to your advantage as well."
Furthermore, expectations in Adelaide are perhaps higher for overseas players than they are elsewhere. Afghanistan's Rashid Khan, arguably the greatest T20 bowler of all time, is considered a hometown hero after spending six years as a Striker. The last two of which have seen him voted as the team's player of the season. And with the greatest of respect to Hose, his four years in club cricket did not lead to the same level of public adoration.
"I had a brief chat with him [Rashid] at the T10 when I was there," Hose says of the prospect of lining up as Rashid equal. "And we had a bit of a catch up about when we were getting over here and I mentioned how much I was looking forward to playing alongside him.
"We're very fortunate you very often play with real established guys and you realise that they're just normal fellas who are very good at what they do."
While Hose may not receive the same hero's welcome at the Adelaide Oval as Rashid does when they step out together on December 14, he will at least be stepping out into familiar territory.
Hose has only been in Adelaide for 24 hours as he speaks, but it's easy to lose track of the number of times he mentions he has had lunch or is about to have lunch with friends or team-mates from years gone by. Because the truth is, while the team sheet may list Hose as an overseas player, the reality is that he is anything but.

Cameron Ponsonby is a freelance cricket writer in London. @cameronponsonby