Adams aims to complete dream summer

Southern Vipers will aim to complete the double this summer when they meet The Blaze in the final of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy at Wantage Road on Sunday.

By Alex Smith, ECB Reporters Network

Southern Vipers captain Georgia Adams is hoping to complete her “season of dreams” in Sunday’s Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final against The Blaze.

Adams has already won the Charlotte Edwards Cup and The Hundred this summer and also picked up winter contracts for the New South Wales Breakers and the Adelaide Strikers in Australia.

Arriving into September in fifth, Vipers won their last four matches with the last three coming as bonus-point victories as they pipped The Blaze to the top spot.

“If I’m honest the last four games have been surreal,” said Adams, who is the competition’s second-leading run scorer and fourth-highest wicket-taker.

“For me, regardless of the result on Sunday and whether we lift the trophy or not, what we have managed to achieve as a squad and how we have gone about our cricket this season will always stand out as one of the best seasons of cricket for me.

“It has been a very special season and to do the double would be very special.

“I don’t think my season could go any better but to go all the way would top it up nicely.

“If we could pull it off and go one more in the final it would be the season of dreams.

“We are confident we can do it and have every chance of pulling it off.”

Southern Vipers captain Georgia Adams guided her side to victory in the Charlotte Edwards Cup in June

Vipers have won two of the three editions of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy, only losing in last year’s final to Northern Diamonds.

But this season, despite winning the Charlotte Edwards Cup, has been more of a slog due to England call-ups.

It has meant the likes of teenagers Mary Taylor, Abi Norgrove and Ava Lee have had to mature quicker than planned – and they have all stepped up in the time of need.

Adams gushed: “To see the academy players jump into the side and cement themselves so comfortably and perform has been a pleasure to watch.

“Mary Taylor has led from the front and bowled the crucial overs with the ball and delivered nearly every game.

“To get three bonus points wins in a row, not seeing our England players and asking Academy players to make that big jump up and with three of the four were against teams above us in the table. It has been quite remarkable and something truly special.”

Adams was persuaded by friend and team-mate to get into contact with England legend Jenny Gunn – who now lives in Sydney – with the intention of playing some club cricket over the winter.

Next thing she knew New South Wales’ head of female cricket Leah Poulton called to offer her a contract to play for the Breakers.

Adams is hoping that her trip to New South Wales could kickstart a more formal partnership between the most successful women’s sides in their respective nations.

“I think it would be great to formalise it,” she said.

“It is something in the future we will look at but it is hard to formalise that process when we are unsure of England availability.

“We would be looking at what skillsets we would massively need within the squad but it could be a great thing for us moving forward to do something like that.

“New South Wales were quite passionate when I spoke to Leah about saying that they wanted to build on these relationships and build these links.

“I think I’m the first person to go out on a contract like this so it could be something that states out there are looking to do more going forward.”

Adams was thrilled about the NSW opportunity and stuck her name down in the WBBL draft. She wasn’t picked up but a few days later got a call from Luke Williams – who she had worked with during The Hundred.

It resulted in her joining Laura Wolvaardt and Dani Gibson as overseas players at Adelaide Strikers, where Williams is head coach. “I am chuffed to pieces and it is pretty cool to get the opportunity,” said Adams.

She added: “When I think about the last three of four years, I didn’t expect any of this to happen in my career.

“I have loved every second. It has been great to have the challenge. I have always been passionate about playing cricket and getting the pro contract was the dream becoming reality. I never ever thought there would be professional contracts like this in my era of playing.

“I have learned so much in the last three years and my game and leadership has developed so much.”