Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 30th 2014 Contents A59
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
KINGSTON---Jimmy Adams talks
about the West Indian love for fast
bowling, batting with Lara, and
living a dream for nine years.
My first visit to Sabina Park was
when India came in 1976. I was
only about eight years old at the
time. But my dad would pop in
there every so often to watch
Jamaica play. He was very keen. He
liked his cricket. He used to go with
a friend, and they would take me
along. So I used to enjoy it for more
than just cricket reasons. It was
quality time with my dad as well.
Every time you get two evenly
matched teams, you re going to get
spice, or what we call "edge." It s
just a fact of life.
Merv Hughes and David Boon
were in our dressing room almost
every day. Almost every day. They
came in with two six-packs. And
they d just drink them with any-
body. It didn t matter. Sure, guys
would be warring. So you d have
maybe Healy and Brian, or Healy
and Dessie, warring. Nobody paid
it any mind. Merv and Boonie, they
couldn t care less.
Every ground in the Caribbean
gets lively when fast bowlers are
operating at a certain level. I ve
heard about a spell Jeff Thomson
bowled in Bridgetown in 78 and
the locals were whooping it. They
just love to see fast bowling, even
when it s against us. It s something
that just gets us excited.
They said it was "brutal" bowling
but I disagree with that. Devon got
hit a few times [in Kingston in
Adams: I lived my dream for nine years
1994], but he got hit on his arse, which
tells me you re not bowling bumpers. If
I m a brutal bowler, you re going to talk
about hitting people higher than that.
People never wrote about how every
time Courtney pitched up, Devon was
swinging through the line. And it was
annoying, you know: you re hanging
around and you re scoring boundaries.
So, fine, let s see what he s prepared to
do. Any fast bowler worth his salt would
do the same thing.
What the senior Jamaica players did
so well was, they kept reminding us that
we were good enough, which, when
you re a teenager, it just counts for so
much. You re obviously playing against
your peers and doing well, but when the
big guns say, "Son, you re good enough
to eventually get there," it s a massive,
Playing club cricket in England taught
me a lot when I was young---being asked
to shoulder all the responsibility for
results. The wickets weren t great and
I learned a lot of discipline. It helped
tighten my game and tighten my think-
ing. After a while it just becomes a good
way to relax for a summer while playing
enough competitive cricket to get by. I
did a season of county cricket and it
was too much cricket for me.
You talk about Test match cricket: it s
about how much ammunition you have.
We didn t have the ammunition we once
had, and it was putting pressure on
everybody. Ambrose and Walsh, when
I started, and then Benjamin and Bishop,
would say, "Listen: give us 300 runs and
we ll win you the Test match." Three
hundred runs now was sometimes only
getting you past the follow-on. And it
There s some professor in Fire in Baby-
lon talking a load of bull, making it sound
as though there was some big grand plan
by people in the Caribbean to build this
world-class team. That s a load of crap,
My Test debut against South Africa---
their first after isolation---was a funny
Test in a lot of ways. It was an empty
ground in Barbados. They d boycotted
the game because Anderson Cummins
wasn t selected.
I guess you work a few things out
when you re very young. Some of the
versions of the game that we played
meant you had to find ways to stay in.
If you had 50 kids with one bat and one
ball, you might not bat again for the rest
of the day, so if you did get an oppor-
tunity, you found a way to hang around.
I was kicking out of the rough. I had
to. They prepared some interesting wick-
ets on that tour [to India in 1994]. But
the "Jimmy Padams" thing didn t bother
me. The issue for me is productivity.
And it helped us to save that series in
The Jamaica captain at the time, Mar-
lon Tucker, asked me whether, rather
than doing No. 6, I fancied doing No.
3. That to me was a no-brainer. I d been
stranded many times with the tail; I
didn t have anything to lose; I wanted
to make my name as a batsman. So I
took it and sort of made it my position
over the next few years, and made the
West Indies team from that position.
There s a certain level of insularity in
West Indies cricket. It s always been
there. It gets suppressed if the team s
doing well. If it isn t, then people start
saying quite a few things.
The 48 not out against Pakistan in
Antigua---200-odd balls, no bound-
aries---is a knock I remember quite fondly
because of the situation of the game.
Waqar hadn t been the force that he
was, so Wasim and Saqi were the main
threats. We had a bit of luck along the
way, sure. I nicked one off Wasim and
the umpire said not out. Twice we were
in the same crease and twice they didn t
gather the ball. It was chaos, man. Proper
Andre van Troost didn t bowl partic-
ularly fast the day he broke my jaw. I
was just shattered, mentally. Really tired,
and was just making bad decisions.
There were a lot of us---I was one of
them---who thought that, on sheer talent,
Pakistan were by far the most talented
team between the late 80s and mid-
90s, when Wasim and Waqar were at
Over the years, Lara s best partnerships
were with the likes of myself and Chan-
derpaul. Viv s best partnerships were
with Larry Gomes. A lot of times when
you have what they call "the shot men"
together, they want the same bowler. It
can be a distraction sometimes, in terms
of the bigger picture.
I tell you now: I d pay money to watch
Hooper bat. I think he s just the sweetest
on the eye that I ve played with or
I was reading this magazine on the
plane and had this French roll. The crust
was very thick. I m reading and poking
it. I had a regular knife, but very thin
metal---it s not that sharp, it s just thin.
I gave it enough force and it went right
through the crust and pinged the tendon
in my hand. That was my tour done and
dusted. I came off the plane and went
straight to the hospital.
There were some key issues---issues
that we thought were reasonable for
international players---that were sup-
posed to have been sorted by the end
of October 98, when the party was in
the Caribbean playing regional cricket
and we d signed off on certain things,
but when the contracts came out the
board had reneged on the agreements.
That was just the tipping point for a lot
I got four wickets in the game [against
South Africa in Barbados, 1992], but if
you check the clips there was some bad
batting. Trust me. But making 79 not
out, and at a crucial time, gave me a lot
of self-belief. Massive, massive.
I didn t give my stats any thought at
the time. You re so busy playing. You re
enjoying the fact that you were doing
well and sort of living in the moment,
to be honest. It was still very much "Let s
milk this for as much as we can so they
don t drop me when everyone s fit." I ve
come away believing in upward pres-
I lived my dream for nine years at
international level. Not many people live
their dream, so yeah I m satisfied with
my career. As you get older, you come
to appreciate the tough times more, if
that makes sense. Because you ve had
to apply the lessons learned from the
tough times far more than the lessons
learned from the good times. (Cricinfo)
with my career
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