Southern Vipers skipper Georgia Adams: To have the success we last season did was incredible

After looking like she could be in for a cricket-free 2020, it turned out to be a pretty special year for Georgia Adams.

Georgia Adams was prolific with the bat in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last season
Georgia Adams was prolific with the bat in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last season

The Sussex skipper was top scorer in the inaugural Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy as her Southern Vipers side won the competition and she earned herself a an ECB full-time domestic contract.

What are Adams’ ambitions for this season? We caught up with her to talk about last year and the one ahead.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

It was an odd season last year - at one point did you think you might not see any cricket?

Georgia Adams celebrates in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy last season

Absolutely, I really didn’t think we were going to get the opportunity to play at all, so I’m hugely grateful that we had the opportunity to not only play some cricket last summer but to also play in a really high-quality tournament. The standard and launch of regional cricket certainly exceeded my expectations.

When you did start, did you predict what a successful campaign it was going to be for you and the Vipers?

I honestly was not expecting us to have the success that we had last summer. We were a brand new squad, a new mix of players and we only had the opportunity to train together about two weeks before the competition so I most definitely just went into the competition with the intention of enjoying being back out on the pitch, on top-class wickets, and starting the Southern Vipers journey.

To have the success we did, and gel together as a squad the way we did so quickly, was just incredible! Every player in the team stood up at some point during the competition and contributed to our winning success.

What do you put your personal success with the bat down to?

I put my personal success down to various different things, I felt that with the lack of preparation for the season in terms of training and volume, I lowered the expectations upon myself. I tried to keep my game plan as simple as possible and also stay as patient as I could.

I often fixate on strike rate and boundaries, which normally results in me playing a loose shot or giving my wicket away, so I guess in a sense I just tried to be selfish and bat long without risks. Thankfully it paid off for the team!

But I also put my success down to finally playing on fantastic wickets. We played on three hybrid pitches last summer, so it definitely gives you more confidence as a batter and you know you can get reward for playing your shots.

What are your hopes and ambitions for 2021?

I guess I’m just hoping we can continue our good run of form as a squad. We set the standard extremely high last season so we will be the team that everyone is out to beat next summer so we will have to live up to that and perform even better.

I’m very confident with how hard the team has been working this winter, under our coach Charlotte Edwards, that we will have another exciting summer of cricket. For me personally I’d love to throw my name in the hat for England selection but we will have to see!

What does it mean to be given a full-time contract?

Receiving a full time contract was honestly the dream becoming reality. All I’ve ever wanted from being as young as I can remember was to be a professional cricketer and I still don’t think it has sunk in yet that I can call myself that.

I think English women’s cricket has made huge strides in the past few years and I am so grateful to have been given the chance to do what I love in a professional capacity.

The standard of the game is just going from strength to strength and that’s a huge part of our role as professionals now to inspire the region and get more girls playing the game. Australia have definitely been leading from the front in terms of supporting and growing women’s cricket so hopefully we can replicate their growth here and see England women lift more trophies.

Are you surprised by the meteoric rise of women’s cricket – what is the biggest change you have seen?

I think the biggest change must go down to the athletic ability of the girls now.

If you watch England women in the field they are so much more dynamic and agile. Girls are hitting the ball harder and further and bowling faster.

Only recently did Sophie Devine score 108 of 38 balls in the New Zealand super smash, which is just phenomenal.

You are a coach at the Brighton Aldridge Cricket Academy (BACA) – how impressive is the set-up there and what makes it so special?

I love coaching and I’m so lucky to work at such a fantastic school. BACA have supported me on my own playing journey as well as supporting my coaching journey.

Alexia Walker, who is director of cricket at the Aldridge Cricket Academy, has contributed hugely to developing my coaching skills and took me on full-time to coach on the school programme. What BACA offers for cricket is far better than any school in the county, it’s just brilliant. I wish I could have gone to school there!

We deliver a full-time elite programme every afternoon to college students so they get to do cricket every afternoon.

We also look to educate them in different areas of sport science such as strength and condition which is delivered in partnership with Sussex Cricket, nutrition, lifestyle management and coaching qualifications. It’s an excellent programme and we are incredibly lucky to have such an amazing facility to train out of... I’m biased but I think it’s better than county ground!

Adams has undergone shoulder surgery over the winter - next week read how her recovery is going and how the Vipers skipper has coped in lockdown.