Jimmy Adams is ready for the challenge of leading a new-look Hampshire in the LV County Championship.
The Hampshire batsman begins his first full season as the county’s captain against Gloucestershire in the second division, following relegation under Dominic Cork last year.
But the 31-year-old believes he is ready to take the club forward with a fresh young squad. With Cork, Nic Pothas and Michael Lumb no longer with the county, Adams provides the experience alongside Michael Carberry and Simon Katich.
What really excites him, however, is the prospect of leading young players like James Vince, Danny Briggs, Liam Dawson, Hamza Riazuddin and Chris Wood.
“I’ve got a group of exceptionally talented cricketers who seem to respond to me, which is really strange but a great feeling, and we’re very excited about the season ahead,” he said. “It’s come round quick but the lads are ready. If we had them practising for another week they’d probably get itchy feet but they’re good to go.”
Adams had some success when he took on the role in Cork’s absence at the end of last season, leading Hampshire to three successive away wins. Although it was not enough to prevent relegation, it gave him the belief to take on the job full-time.
“That was a great confidence booster,” he added. “The way the guys rallied round was a huge help. There was a mutual respect, they understood I backed them and they responded to that. They backed me, which was a very good feeling.
“I’ve always been a reluctant captain, doing it before because someone else was away or injured. To an extent that was the case last year, but it made me realise I was capable of doing it.”