Adams will go down in the record books as the first captain to lead Sussex to the County Championship, which he did in 2003 and repeated in 2006 and 2007.
The explosive middle-order batsman began his career at Derbyshire and spent 10 years there but made the long move south in 1998.
He made his Test debut for England on the tour of 1999/2000 tour of South Africa, and went on to play five Tests and five one-day internationals for his country.
Adams is also one of the few batsmen to have scored championship centuries against all 18 counties and was named as one of the 2003 Wisden Cricketers of the Year.
He scored over 1,000 championship runs in 2005 as Sussex finished third in the table, and led them to the totesport League Division Two title, scoring nearly 600 runs in the process.
He enjoyed his best season as skipper in 2006, completing a domestic double by winning the championship and the C&G Trophy.
Courted by Yorkshire after their skipper Craig White stood down at the end of the season, Adams turned down a contract extension at Sussex in favour of a move to Headingley.
He signed a four-year deal to become captain and head of professional cricket at Yorkshire barely a month after winning the championship - but then made a shock decision to remain at Hove instead and see out his contract as Sussex skipper.
The decision paid off when he led Sussex to their second successive championship title in 2007, scoring 1,030 runs in the process.
He also led them to the 2008 NatWest Pro40 title, but stood down as skipper at the end of the season and handed the reins to Michael Yardy.
Adams fulfilled his long-standing desire to move into management when he took over as cricket manager at Surrey late in 2008.