We can shine - Adams
Sussex captain Chris Adams is confident the new domestic cricket season will be as competitive and exciting as anything on offer in the Indian Premier League.
The spectre of the Twenty20 competition in India, which starts on April 18, has cast a large shadow over the future of the English game.
The vast sums of money offered by the IPL has been a hot topic of debate on the county circuit during pre-season training.
Hampshire captain Dimitri Mascarenhas has joined the IPL but speaking at the ECB launch of the new county season, the captain of the LV County Championship holders, Chris Adams, is certain the strength of the domestic game will help produce some enthralling cricket.
“The fantastic thing about domestic cricket is that we cover everything in one season,” Adams said.
“Purists who prefer the longer game have the county championship. The one-day game is covered by the Friends Provident Trophy and the Natwest Pro40.
“And we have Twenty20 cricket thrown into the mix as well, which has obviously been a massive success - I think there is something there for cricket fans and even some non-cricket fans.
“I can understand the appeal of something like the IPL but there is still a great deal of enjoyment to be had out of a county cricket and last year in the Championship was a great example of that.
“It was just fantastic drama in that it all went down to that last few hours. It was a thriller at the Oval, which Sky were covering, which added to the excitement.
“It was gripping stuff and it will equally enthralling this time.”
Sussex retained their crown on the final day of the championship season, clinching back-to-back titles courtesy of Surrey’s victory in the final hours of the final day against Lancashire.
Adams believes the strength and depth of the domestic game will make for an open season.
“Any number of teams can win any of the competitions on offer,” he said.
“It is really difficult to predict who is going to win what this time round, and hence why I’m not going to even try to do so - it really is that close.
“There will be a lot of teams looking at all the competitions and thinking ‘this could be our year’.
“You only have to look at the likes of Somerset, who were excellent under Justin Langer to win promotion in the Championship Division Two last year, to know that a number of teams are in with a shout in the Championship in particular.
“I look round the counties and I see once again that Lancashire look very strong in the longer and shorter formats.
“Surrey played the last two months of the season to finish very strongly and are a very dangerous side when they hit form.
“Durham are likely to be boosted by Steve Harmison back in their side for a while so they could be even stronger after having a tremendous campaign last year.
“It could be one of the most exciting and open summers for years.
“To say who is going to win the one-day trophies and the Twenty20 is even more difficult.”
Adams, 37, was pragmatic over his side’s chances of making it a hat-trick of Championship wins.
“If you climb Mount Everest, you can’t stay up there for too long or you’ll die,” he reasoned.
“You need to enjoy the moment and then get back down again and I think we’re in the same situation after winning the last two County Championship titles.
“If you want to climb that mountain again, you have to get your preparation right, pack up all your kit, make sure you have all the things you’re going to need for a the journey.
“And that’s what we’ve done - made sure everyone is in the right condition and the right frame of mind to get the right approach to taking on another Everest which is the county season.
“On the way, it is going to be a gruelling affair and you’re going to have to have your wits about you.
“We will certainly do our best to try and win it time but it is going to be hard.
“Mind you, they tell me statistically it is easier to win it three times in a row than twice in a row!”