Coaching role of interest to Andre Adams

For all the stars who emerge in cricket, there are those who don't quite make it.

For every Sir Richard Hadlee or Stephen Fleming you get an army of players who don't make the most of their opportunities.

There is a third group as well - those who graft away, get their opportunities and keep giving as long as their arms, legs and heart hold out.

Veteran Auckland bowler Andre Adams is definitely in this third group.

Since 1997, Adams has been a regular around the traps - not only in New Zealand, but in England as well for Essex, Herefordshire and most recently Nottinghamshire.

He is still delivering the goods, too, with the 37-year-old returning to Twenty20 cricket for Auckland this summer and taking 12 wickets in eight games at an impressive average of 19.92.

"I'd say I've got the most people caught at cow corner than anyone else in the game at the moment," Adams said, laughing.

The veteran right-armer is being modest. Bar the odd blow-out, Adams has been one of the top domestic bowlers in the shortest form of the game over the last two months even though his beloved Auckland are set to miss out on the HRV Cup finals.

In addition to his playing role, Adams has been Auckland's first ever bowling coach this summer - and has enjoyed imparting his knowledge to the Queen City's battery of young seamers, namely Donovan Grobbelaar, Matt Quinn and Dean Bartlett.

It's a role Adams, who played one test for New Zealand in 2002, is interested in filling fulltime when he pulls stumps on his long career.

"I've never really considered myself a coach but it's always been my mentality to help the people around me," Adams said.

"In the last few years, I've been sharing that knowledge more with the young guys.

"They're finding their feet, and it's been quite good to be there and be part of it with them.

"It's been cool watching and playing with these guys. It's good you can be out there with them, rather than being on the sidelines and help them there, instead of at the end of the session."

On the field, Adams heads back to Notts in April after deciding to skip a potential spot in this year's Bangladeshi Premier League after contracting legionnaires' disease when playing there last season.

A significant achievement may await him in England.

Adams, who is still deciding on his playing future in New Zealand after this summer, currently sits on 614 first-class wickets - the fifth most by a New Zealander.

Another 41 and he'll head into second place on the list behind another Notts veteran Hadlee, who has an insurmountable 1490.

"I think it's one of those things that goes on your resume and that's something we have a lack of in New Zealand," Adams said of his first-class wicket total.

"We don't have a lot of guys that have played a whole heap of cricket. Martin Crowe, John Wright, those older fellas - they did.

"But the recent guys didn't play a lot of first-class games. They played a lot of test cricket and one-dayers.

"I didn't play that much test cricket, but playing so much first-class cricket gives me a bit of a resume as that goes, especially if I was going to become a coach."

Snaring that second spot on the all-time list would be a fitting end to the career of a real servant to the game over the last decade in New Zealand.

Sunday News