Solly Adam has been described by Sunil Gavaskar, Viv Richards and Ricky Pioneer of the Cricket World. He nurtured World Class Pakistani and Indian test cricketers, Such as Imran Khan and Sachin Tendulkar. He was also responsible for bringing Sachin Tendulkar to Headingley in 199
He assisted Yorkshire County Cricket Club in signing Indian superstar, Sachin Tendulkar back in 1991. Solly has always been associated with the Yorkshire side and various teams and leagues in the region. Whilst on the ethnic minority board at Yorkshire Cricket Club, Solly was told an Australian overseas player was not turning up and was asked to suggest a possible overseas player in a short time. So he suggested that they sign Tendulkar as he had just signed his school friend Vinod Kumble to play with him in the Bradford League. So he was confident he could get him to play here. Solly called Sachin, who was playing test cricket at the time in Australia and Sachin told him to give him a week or so to think about it, as he wanted to speak to his parents about the move, and he was very young at the time. When Sachin arrived in Yorkshire Solly Adam offered him a house to stay in, but he preferred staying at Solly’s home and Solly looked after him like his own son.
Solly arrived in England in 1963 and got married in 1968. He started off as a qualified motor mechanic in a small garage and in 1972 he purchased a petrol station. As Solly’s business empire prospered, he also had the time to pursue his interest in cricket.
A few overseas players were coming over from Pakistan and India at the time and he decided to help them and let them stay in one of his houses. A lot of them went on to become test players for Pakistan and India such as Vinod Kumble, Abdul Kadir, Iqbal Kasim. Solly even had Imran Khan stay over for 10 weeks when he had just signed for another county side.
In those days you had to undergo a 10 week suspension (a waiting period before you could play for the club). So Imran played league cricket for Wakefield during that time.
India’s most successful captain in recent memory – Surav Ganguly along with Rahul Mankar and many others have all visited Solly recently. Solly is also very close to Indian cricketing great, Sunil Gavaskar.
The idea to stage a match between Pakistan and India was mooted to Solly by representatives of the Shah Satnamji Cricket Academy in Shirsha, Northern India.
Solly got a phone call from the chairman and was asked to organize and attend the game as guest of honour. As Both the Pakistan and India first team players were on tour, Solly had to arrange a veteran match instead. Within a day or two Solly called players like, Saeed Anwar, Zaheer Abbas, Waqar Younis, Mushtaq, they all agreed. This was the first time anyone other than the cricket board of India has organised a competitive cricket match in India.
The game was a sell out, with over 35,000 people in attendance. The match was also screened live by DD Television India. He was congratulated by the Indian PM Manmohan Singh, it was a great honour to be appreciated in that manner.
Solly is now the managing director of a number of firms including Solly Sports. He supplies many of the junior and senior leagues in Yorkshire, a list of which can be viewed here.
Solly is determined to do more to help grass roots cricket and has the backing of the cricket elite.