Adams lets cat out of bag on Surrey revolution

Gloucestershire 333 Surrey 18-3
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The Independent Online

It might seem a little bit early in the season to be talking about rescue acts and Surrey cricket, however dodgy their plight might appear in this match. But Surrey supporters can rest easy because the rescue operation took place off the pitch, and anyway rain and bad light combined to prevent any play at all yesterday taking the tally of overs lost in this opener to the Second Division to 173.

It transpired yesterday afternoon the Surrey president, Mike Soper, the former deputy chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, heard the plaintive meowing of a cat that had become trapped in the narrowest of gaps between the committee balcony and the adjacent Bedser Stand.

With Soper taking the head end and a couple of members of the groundstaff lending a hand from below, the feline was freed after a 20-minute wrestle. Would that Surrey could escape cricketing predicaments as easily. However, they have a man who believes he can turn things around in south-east London. He is professional cricket manager, Chris Adams, who led Sussex to three Championships among a sackload of other silverware.

Adams is aware Surrey are traditionally not the most popular of counties among their peers, with rivals sneering at a perceived Surrey strut. But Adams reckons that the Surrey strut is no more. That the squad members are focused on swag not swagger.

"They have been beaten battered and bruised and boshed around. I had a chat to the boys this morning. People don't like them. Or rather people like the thought of this team, this club not doing well. I told them they have to change the view people have of them.

"They are a humble group of players. I know it's this Surrey strut. This arrogance. But I don't think it exists any more. They are so battered and bruised from what has happened that it is now a case of getting down to things and working hard."

There have certainly been signs of a change in attitude in this match, but Surrey are going to have to work like dogs to get back into the First Division.