CAPE TOWN - Qaasim Adams is the quintessential journeyman franchise cricketer. Having played in the club system in the Western Cape since the age of 16, and not the provincial academies, Adams knows the school of hard knocks pretty well.
Some would even call the Lentegeur-raised left-hander a “Natural Born Hustler” such is his ability to put one disappointment behind him and start afresh somewhere else.
After four years at the Titans, which included loan spells at the Highveld Lions and Warriors, the 33-year-old is set to start all over again back in the Cape with the Cobras in the upcoming T20 Challenge.
It has been one helluva journey, but one that Adams wouldn’t change for the world.
“It has been interesting indeed, that I can tell you for free. A bit like the Cobra roller-coaster at Ratanga sometimes,” Adams said.
“But that’s the way the cookie crumbles. If you have to go somewhere else to get a gig, then you must get on your bike and go. You must go where the job is. There are only six franchises and a heap of quality players, so wherever I could play, I went.”
Adams certainly enjoyed the most fruitful period of his career with the Titans. In the 2015-16 season, he finished as South Africa’s fourth highest first-class run-scorer with 730 runs at an average of 56.15 to help power the Titans to the Sunfoil Series title.
Adams also averaged 45.20 in the One-Day Cup, which propelled him into the South Africa A team for tours to Zimbabwe and Australia.
The hard Australian pitches were to Adams’ liking as he averaged 50.28 in the quadrangular one-day series also involving Australia A, India A and the Australian National Performance Squad. It is believed that Adams was within a whisker of gaining Proteas selection for the once-off one-day international against Ireland.
However, upon return to South Africa and the Titans, there was a change in leadership at SuperSport Park with head coach Rob Walter moving off-shore to New Zealand and former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher taking charge.
Unfortunately for Adams, the switch did not do him any favours as he was often left out of the Titans match-day squad under the new regime. This led to frustration, and a subsequent loss of form, with the Titans management eventually agreeing to release Adams from his two-year contract at the end of last season.
Adams, though, harbours no grudges and in fact looks back at his time with the Pretoria-based team as one of the highlights of his career.
“I loved my time at the Titans. Especially the first three seasons under Rob Walter. We really got along well and he helped improve my game tremendously,” Adams said.
“But that’s all water under the bridge. When one door closes, there is another one that opens somewhere else and I am really excited about working with a high-quality coach like Ashwell Prince.”
The ride is far from over for the veteran with a new quest awaiting him in this season’s T20 Challenge. Prince has pencilled Adams in as the Cobras’ wicket-keeper - a role he has yet to perform at franchise level - for this season’s competition.
With Dane Vilas opting for a move to the Dolphins during the winter, young gloveman Kyle Verreynne did duty behind the stumps during the Sunfoil Series for the Cobras.
Prince, though, believes Adams’ ability to powerfully clear the boundary and his unique “X-factor” will significantly strengthen the Cobras’ capacity to finish off games.
“This wicket-keeping thing started at Northerns. Our wicket-keeper broke his finger in the game, and I fortunately or unfortunately depending how you want to look at it, took the gloves and the coach felt I could do a decent enough job,” Adams explained.
“I kept for Western Province in the recent Africa T20 Cup. I think it went alright. If it is an opportunity for me to get into a strong Cobras side with Proteas available like Hashim (Amla), JP (Duminy) and Temba (Bavuma), I am going to jump at the opportunity and hopefully take it with both hands.”