DUBAI // Chris Adams, the former England batsman, is hoping the UAE-effect will work as well for his new charges as it did for his former ones when his Surrey side arrive for this weekend's Emirates Airline Twenty20. Adams became one of county cricket's most decorated captains while at the helm at Sussex. During the later years of his tenure, pre-seasons were spent playing warm-up fixtures in the Emirates, tours that were regarded as a firm foundation for their domestic success.
Having since left Sussex, Adams is now firmly ensconced in his new role as cricket manager at Surrey, where he is tasked with reviving an underachieving county who were until recently known as the "Manchester United of cricket". Surrey's new campaign will begin on Friday at The Sevens in Dubai, and Adams will be in direct conflict with his ex-teammates on day two of the tournament. He said: "We have made some big changes and some exciting signings over the off-season and it is a great feeling to finally be able to play some competitive cricket. This tour will be a great opportunity for the squad to come together as a cohesive unit and I am very much looking forward to seeing them in action on the field."
Adams is not the only one who will be up against old friends on Saturday. During the winter he recruited Rory Hamilton-Brown, the 22-year-old all-rounder, from Sussex, and immediately made him his new captain. The young leader is one of a number of new arrivals at the Oval who are looking to push themselves into contention for an England call-up. Chris Tremlett will get his first bowling stint in the UAE following his switch from Hampshire, while Gareth Batty, the off-spinner, and Steve Davies, the England Lions wicketkeeper, have arrived from Worcestershire.
Hamilton-Brown said: "All the boys are very excited about the prospect of getting out to Dubai, feeling a bit of sun our backs and playing some competitive cricket. "The three other teams in the tournament [Sussex, Cape Cobras and a Fly Emirates side that will include Shahid Afridi] look very strong so I am sure there will be some tough cricket played. "On a personal note, I am hungry to make a difference on the field as well as in the dressing room." @Email:email@example.com