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Player Profile #24: Adam Ward

 


Adam Ward might not be the best batsman in his own family (his career average of 14.97 leaves him in the slipstream of brother Marc's 15.32 record) but in 2022 he recorded the highest score by an Offley batsman for eight years and also the fifth highest score ever. 

In the context of last year it probably goes without saying that Offley lost but in fairness it wasn't really Adam's fault, especially as he took two of the three Queens Park wickets to fall in a miserly spell of 7-0-64-2, a performance that made Peter Gilkes look economical.

While it may be tempting to regard that knock as something of an outlier (he failed to average 10 in his other innings last year), there has never been any doubting Ward's class.

To see him drive through the covers or mid off early in his innings is to see a batsman of real pedigree.

Sometimes he even makes contact with the ball.

Sadly the Offley scorebooks are littered with entries along such lines of Ward bowled 0 or Ward bowled 1 or Ward bowled 4.

He has actually failed to get off the mark 17 times in 98 innings, on one such occasion returning to the pavilion and remarking, "Maybe I'm just really shit at cricket."

Admittedly he had just had his stumps demolished by Darren Lunney, his former coach, mentor and lifestyle guru, who was guesting for the opposition. 

On occasion he has been known to turn his arm over and has claimed 56 wickets in his career, deceiving and beguiling batsmen with an exotic combination of leg spin, pies and other savoury treats.

Ward can genuinely lay claim to being one of the finest fielders in club history as he sprints around unencumbered by the Mr Greedy-style belly and deep sea diver's boots apparently favoured by many of his colleagues. 

This is a man who has run the London Marathon; most of his team-mates would struggle to run for a bus.

Ward is a TikTok video surrounded by a rusting pile of Betamax.

To see Ward in the field is to see a young gazelle frolicking in the covers or in the deep, every dive and pose apparently executed in the belief there is a cameraman lurking in the foliage with a long range lens waiting to put him on the cover of National Geographic. 

Sometimes the pose is so extreme it allows the batsmen to come back for an extra run.

Did You Know: Despite making over 300 appearances between them for the club, neither Ward brother has ever taken a five-wicket haul. In fairness if you've seen either of them bowl recently that might not be a surprise.

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