Former Jamaica and West Indies cricket captain James Clive Adams was yesterday honored by the UWI for his outstanding contribution to West Indies cricket on the occasion of National Heroes day in Barbados.
The ceremony took place during the lunch break of the third and final day of the Vice-Chancellor’s X1, Austriala three-day first class cricket match at the 3w’s ground UWI Cave Hill campus.
Principal of the Cave Hill campus Professor Hilary Beckles told the gathering which included the entire Austriala team, and some members of the West Indies side including captain Brian Lara and Manager Ricky Skerret, that Adams was being honored because it was Barbados Heroes Day and that cricket to those at UWI have been more than just a magnificent game.
“ We wish to celebrate on this day, a citizen, in whose spirit this game we love, has found dignified expression and an enlargement, against forces that have sought its reduction” Beckles said.
“He knows we love him, and that we have long regretted he was forced to forego his studies at UWI in order to pursue his cricket career. This is a circumstance we are determind to end” Beckles, a leading cricket historian in the region continued.
Beckles said “The late Frank Worrell would have reconized him as a son, decent to the core, honorable
to the vein, and one of the finest ambassadors of the tradition of the gentlemen player we wish to uphold and celebrate” Adams played the first of his 54 test matches in Barbados in 1992 against South Africa and helped the West Indies to a sensational 52 run victory in the first test match between the two sides.
The left hander scored 11 and 79 not out in that game and took 4-43 in the first innings and Beckles said it was fitting that Adams was welcomed back to the scene of his beginnings, and in so doing, seek to empower him for all his future tests in life.
With the Austriala team present, Beckles desclosed that it was also fitting since Adams who scored six centuries and 14 fifties in his test career which yielded 3,012 runs (Ave. 41.2), played his last test against Austriala in Sidney in the 2001 series. Adams who also has 27 test wickets to his name only managed 10 and five in that final test which the West Indies lost by six wickets.
Beckles reminded those present of the words of Steve Waugh in December 2000. The Austrialian captain siad
of Adams “ Jimmy is a real nice guy and a fine cricketer.”
Beckles also spoke about the way David Hooks, another Austrialian test player described Adams. “It is impossible to shake Jimmy. He cannot be bored out, talked out, or conned out, Merely bowled out. He survives with an inscrutable expression of unyielding defence” Beckles proudly said “Well this is our Jimmy for sure, a spirit we miss, an approach we crave, and an attitude we will need on the long journey ahead.”
Adams who left Barbados for England last night, represented the West Indies in 127 one day internationals scoring 2,204 runs at an average of 28.62 with a highest score of 82 being the best of his 14 half-centuries. His unbeaten 208 remains his highest test score.
The 35-year-old Adams has bowled left arm spin, kept wicket and batted solidly in the middle order for the West Indies and was a great motivator always playing for the team.
He was one of the most committed West Indian cricketers and was always willing to talk to the press or with his many fans.
The well spoken Jamaican, now the 11th West Indian cricketer honored by UWI since Sir Viv Richards became the first in 1996, said it was an honor to be in the list of those honored by UWI for anybody concerned with West Indies cricket.
He thanked God for making all of this possible for him, his parents for providing a foundation of love and support for him over the years, the West Indies Cricket Board and the Jamaica Board for giving him the window of oppertunity to showcase his talent and to former test great Rohan Kanhai whom he said taught him to bat and who is responsible for everything he has achieved in cricket.
The all-rounder with 202 first class matches to his name and 11,234 runs from them (Ave. 39.2) with 25 centuries and 54 fifties and 103 wickets, thanked UWI for the honor and said he hoped that the great opportunity the Uniniversity provides for young people in the Carribean may long continue.
Adams also said the tremendous job done by Steve Waugh and his men in the last seven years continues to raise the standard of international cricket which is good for the game.
He also wished the Austrialians well and said he hoped the West Indies return to the top of world cricket, a position they held with distintion throughout the 1980’s.
Richards, Courtney Walsh, Courtly Ambrose, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Jeff Dujon, Joel Garner, Mike Holding, Andy Roberts and Malcom Marshall are the others who have been honored by UWI.