Cricket: Adams stays tough despite unlucky start

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The Independent Online
CHRIS ADAMS has adopted the same mentally tough approach to his debut England tour that he introduced into the Sussex dressing room after a luckless opening two innings in South Africa.

The Sussex captain, desperate to make an early impression having waited until the age of 29 to make his first overseas trip with England, could have been forgiven for thinking the gods were conspiring against him. Having got off the mark with a six during the defeat by Nicky Oppenheimer's XI, Adams was given out caught at silly point for just 12 when it appeared the ball had deflected off his arm. To compound his disappointment, he was then run out without scoring following a mix-up with Nasser Hussain during the 19-run victory over Easterns on Tuesday.

Adams, though, is not dwelling on what might have been and insists his experiences are all part of the ups and downs of being an international cricketer. "It's a professional sport," he said. "One of the words I barred from the dressing room at Sussex was sorry - apologies aren't accepted in a professional environment.

"These things happen, it's all part of the game and you've got to accept that. I don't think people should apologise for mistakes because everybody makes mistakes. I've prepared really hard for the tour, left no stone unturned and I've got a plan in my head as to how I'm going to play and I'll back my ability to come through."

Phil Neale was yesterday appointed as England's full-time operations manager for the next two years to help cope with the increasing demands of the international schedule.

The former Worcestershire captain, who is manager on the current tour to South Africa and Zimbabwe, will be responsible for pre-tour planning, arranging preparation periods, day-to-day planning of the team's activities and arranging tour travel and accommodation.

He will also liaise with the chairman of selectors, David Graveney, to ensure England's leading players, who face seven Test and 10 one-day internationals every home summer from next year, receive necessary breaks and training and supervise the expected transition to centralised contracts.

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