On this day in 1995, Paul Adams became South Africa’s youngest Test debutant. He’s our Legend of the Week.
He’s endured a tough campaign as coach of the Cape Cobras on and off the field this season, but Adams was certainly fondly known for his time as a player.
It’s amazing to think that he’s still only 39, but that’s because he made his debut for the Proteas as an 18-year-old against England in the Boxing Day Test in Port Elizabeth back in 1995, becoming the youngest debutant in South African history – a record that still stands today. The English nicknamed his action as a ‘frog in a blender’ after he bamboozled them with his unorthodox chinaman.
Once the element of mystery wore off, Adams struggled to become a regular in the side. On top of that he got injured at crucial times and eventually moved behind Nicky Boje in the spin pecking order. ‘Gogga’ remains South Africa’s most successful left-arm spinner, with 134 wickets from 45 matches at 32.87.
His international career lasted nine years before he lost his place altogether, and eventually retired from first-class cricket in October 2008.
Adams went on to coach the Cobras, and guided them to back-to-back Sunfoil Series titles in 2012-13 and 2014-15. The Cobras are currently sitting at the bottom of the pile this season, and a number of the players have fallen out with him and have asked for him to be removed from the setup.
Photo: Thomas Turck/Gallo Images