Never-say-die attitude reaps reward for Anthony Adams
By Avenash Ramzan
In my years of covering local cricket I’ve had the opportunity of seeing Anthony Adams toil away for Essequibo, befuddling opposition batsmen, often times being his team’s best player for the season, yet couldn’t find a place on the senior national team.
As a keen observer of his demeanour, I gather that he’s one who is never prepared to give up easily, because the situation that confronted him was grim, and he could have easily thrown in the towel. But he intentionally didn’t.
For six years at the Inter-county level, Adams’ left-arm spin produced a conveyor belt of wickets, and though his performances may have not won championships for Essequibo, they at least kept him in the minds of the selectors.
He was however, down the pecking order with West Indies spinners Devendra Bishoo and Veerasammy Permaul being the front-line bowlers and their Albion teammate Gudakesh Motie joining the fray soon after and dominating.
It meant Adams had to be spectacular to break into the national team, which he finally did in 2017. With Guyana Jaguars already securing the title for a third straight year, management opted to ‘blood’ a few players and Adams was given a First-Class debut, but he went wicketless in an almost muted display.
It was, for him personally, a disappointing performance, but one that in no way fazed the NOC Sports Club player. In fact, it spurred the 24-year-old to lift the bar and adjust his goals, for failing was never an option.
That dedication and never-say-die attitude yielded phenomenal results, as Adams turned in a performance that not only underlined his status as one of the most prolific left-arm spin bowlers from Essequibo, but also catapulted the county to its first-ever Jaguars Franchise League Three-day title in just the second year of the tournament.
A bag full of wickets- 52 to be exact in seven matches and second only to Motie’s 61- earned Adams a place in Guyana Jaguars squad for the opening round of the 2017-18 Professional Cricket League Four-day championship, starting October 26.
Of his seven five-wicket hauls, the best of 7-93 came against Upper Corentyne. That Bishoo is on duty with the West Indies Test team made it easier for Adams to slot in to the national side.
“Over the years I’ve tried to remain consistent with my bowling performance and I’ve been doing some work on my batting and it has paid off so far, so I’m very excited for the new season. Hopefully, I get to play and make an impact,” Adams said.
He added, “I’m a very patient person. I know it would have taken hard work and dedication for me to get where I am now, and I’m still young so I have a lot of cricket to play. There was never a point in time where I thought it was over for me. I always wanted to work hard and wait for my opportunity.”
A strategic method of training, coupled with consistently playing cricket even in the off-season has proven to be the right formula for Adams.
“I’ve been doing a lot of bowling specifics, working on spinning the ball more. Fitness is very important for me and I’ve been a lot of fitness work. It’s very easy for me because I’m playing cricket over 300 days a year so for me to go into a tournament like the one we had (Jaguars Franchise League) and do well is not too difficult because this is what I’ve been doing and I accustomed to bowling and working hard,” Adams explained.
He continued, “I’ve been playing Inter-county for years and there’s no reason for me to come into a tournament and be nervous or act like I’ve never been in a position like that before, so I just try to remain focus and be positive all the time.”
According to Adams, Essequibo’s coach Ryan Hercules has played a major role in his success this season and he’s hoping for the trend to continue.
“I’ve played cricket over the years with Ryan against and with him, so we have a good relationship. After every game we try to look back and reflect on what we can work on and what we could do better in the field so that I can pick up wickets put the team in a good position. It’s been good working with Ryan and hopefully the work we’ve done together could continue,” Adams explained.
Hercules meanwhile, spoke of Adams’ work ethics, noting that his call-up to the senior side is well-deserved.
“Anthony is a very dedicated player; he is very focused on his game and he knows what he wants to achieve from cricket. He did brilliant in the Three-day tournament and earned his pick for Guyana. I would like to wish him well and remember always aim high and hard work will pay off,” Hercules told News Room Sport.
Adams knows the road ahead could be bumpy, but he is determined to make this opportunity count once the skipper throws the red ball in his direction.
“If I want to go on and play at the higher level I need to continue doing the same things I’ve been domestically and put it into First-Class cricket. It’s very important for me to go out there and give my all and do the things that I’ve been doing that have made me successful in the past and hopefully I could be successful at this level,” Adams stressed.
SQUAD: Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rajendra Chandrika, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Leon Johnson (Captain), Bhaskar Yadram, Keemo Paul, Anthony Bramble, Sherfane Rutherford, Veerasammy Permaul (Vice-captain), Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Akshaya Persaud and Anthony Adams.