Friday, 5 June 2015
JIMMY ADAMS ON THE 1990s WINDIES-AUSSIE RIVALRY
Last summer I slipped down to Derbyshire versus Kent in the County Championship, hoping to grab Jimmy Adams, the Kent coach, for an hour. The main purpose was to get some material for for a career overview, 'Gleanings' piece for cricinfo, but I also had in mind a more focussed piece about the West Indies' rivalry with the Australiand over the course of the 1990s, the decade that saw one dominant Test dynasty replace the other, the decade that encompassed Jimmy's career with West Indies.
We chatted for two hours and twenty minutes: an hour and a half before lunch, the rest afterward. Clearly, he was generous with his time. He was also generous, if phlegmatic with his opinions, refusing to be drawn by any leading questions (me fishing for stories about conflict between the two sides), eminently polite in rebutting lines of enquiry that he thought wide of the mark in one way or another. Warmly dismissive, you might say.
Anyway, when I got home and listened back to the interview, I realized there were a few holes in this narrative of the 1990s battles for The Frank Worrell Trophy, so I prepared a follow-up interview and sheepishly phoned him up to finish off. He gave me another 55 minutes. Uncomplainingly. The end result, once transcribed (not fully, but selectively), was 7,000 words long. I compressed this down to 3,600 words when I filed it, and the editors in Bangalore compressed it still further to the final piece, published on the eve of this short two-Test series between the two countries (itself a sign of Windies' decline).
Jimmy: definitely one of the good guys.
"Going to Perth in '93, we just knew we were going to win"