Former Surrey and England cricketer Adam Hollioke is the only international cricketer to compete professionally as a mixed martial artist.
Hollioke, also competed as a professional boxer back in 2004 and had six successful seasons with Surrey.
Despite being born in Melbourne, he spent a long time in England before moving back to Australia. Currently, Adam is a very busy man.
“I’m at the crossroads of my life.” He said.”I am currently coaching the Queensland cricket team. I’ve just resigned as an assistant coach and I’ve been taken on as a batting consultant. But I’ve also got two companies that I’m a founder of. One is a social media company called CoStar, which connects fans with their favourite stars. We’ve been working for probably five or six years to get some big names, athletes and musicians etc on our platform including the NBA, which we signed just the other day which is the biggest league in the world, so that was a massive coup for us. Signing the NBA I wouldn’t say is like winning the Ashes, but it’s like winning a T20 for my club side.”
Hollioake, captained Surrey to three county championship wins. He acknowledges that it wasn’t just about him, but others that deserved praise.
“A lot goes into winning a championship, the work that has to go on from all the way from CEO’s, Director of Cricket to the coach down to the players.” He said, “I was just fortunate enough to be the person who had the label of the captain at the time.”
He put Surrey’s success down to private schools in the area and a successful youth set up.
“I think it was the perfect storm” he said, “Whilst Surrey isn’t necessary the biggest population in the county, we’ve got a high percentage of cricket players, mainly due to the private schools, so we’ve always got a large data base to pick from. We’ve also got a really good youth set up as well. The Nestcafe youth system sponsored us for twenty or thirty years and that side that won it in 99, I think we had eight of us that came through that system.”
Adam only played four tests for England but was picked 35 times for England in ODI’s.
“I had two of my tests against Australia who were the best side in the world at that time and on not very good pitches”, he said “I then went to the West Indies and one of the matches was on the wicket which they called the game off and the other game was on a wicket that wasn’t particularly good either so I didn’t particularly get a good shot at it, but saying that there are better cricketers than me who have never played test cricket before.”
Adam made the decision to retire from cricket at 31 years of age. At the time he was in good form in all forms of the game.
“I was probably playing the best cricket of my life”, he said “Physically I could still play now. I’m 48 now and physically I’m in as good as shape now as what I was when I was 31. My reasons for retiring was outside of cricket. My family obviously suffered the loss of my brother. I wasn’t enjoying my cricket as much as I used to and I didn’t feel I was necessarily being the best role model for the Surrey players coming through. I played my cricket with incredible intensity and when that wasn’t there I wasn’t particularly proud of the way I was playing and to be honest I wasn’t enjoying much without my brother being there and I wanted to be back in Australia with my parents.”
Interview with Adam Hollioake