THREE-MINUTE BIOGRAPHY: Adam Zampa may be on his way from collecting goats to being Australian T20 GOAT

Headshot of Malcolm Quekett
Malcolm Quekett
The Nightly
Adam Zampa is on his way to being the next big thing in T20 cricket.
Adam Zampa is on his way to being the next big thing in T20 cricket. Credit: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

We are talking about a top Aussie leg-spinner who is a bit of a character. Who does his own thing.

But no, it’s not Shane Warne. It’s Adam Zampa.

And right now Zampa, who has kept goats on his property, may be headed to being Australian men’s international T20 bowling GOAT (greatest of all time).

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We got another look at that on Wednesday when Australia dismantled Namibia in their T20 World Cup match in Antigua.

Australia cruised to a nine-wicket win as Zampa took 4-12 off his four overs, becoming the first Australian men’s player to reach 100 T20 international wickets.

He added a player-of-the-match award to that he had won in the previous win over England.

Afterwards, Aussie T20 skipper Mitch Marsh said Zampa was “probably our most important player.”

Zampa was born in Shellharbour, NSW, and his boyish looks meant he could easily have been mistaken for a schoolboy even as — after impressing for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL — he was brought into Australia’s one-day international and T20I squads in 2016 — and was Australia’s leading wicket-taker in the World T20 in India that year.

Zampa was crucial to Australia’s maiden T20 World Cup triumph in the UAE in 2021.

He was again vital in Australia’s 2023 ODI World Cup victory, finishing the tournament as the second-highest wicket-taker.

Along the way Zampa, 32, has garnered a reputation as someone who marches to the beat of his own drum.

According to the BBC, Zampa ended up with a tattoo of a whisky glass on his left wrist, the result of pace bowler Kane Richardson’s bucks weekend, when the pair agreed to choose ink for each other.

He also has ink dedicated to the late Phil Hughes, and then there’s the bromance with fellow Aussie cricketer Marcus Stoinis — leading many to refer to the duo as Zoinis — and Zampa’s dedication to a good coffee.

Zampa is shown on the documentary The Test, which follows the Australian men’s team, tenderly and meticulously brewing coffee with his coffee beans, portable grinder and scales — to get the weight just right.

He told the documentary that his coffee ritual had led to his room being called The Love Cafe “because the most important ingredient is love.”

The BBC said in 2020 that as more of Zampa’s teammates developed a taste for rare coffees, trade in The Love Cafe slowed.

“I hardly have anyone knocking on the door because they have their own set-up,” said Zampa. “I get to training and I have a lot of questions asked to me about coffee beans.”

I try and make really conscious choices about what I put into my body, where I buy things from, what materials are sustainable for the planet.

It’s a far cry from the days when Aussie cricketers would compete to drink the most beers on a flight to London.

Zampa’s off-field interests also include a range of green beliefs, which include veganism and an appearance in an advertisement for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“I’m not vegan to help my performance,” he told the BBC. “I did it because I care about animals and the environment.”

That has extended to his home with his wife Harriet and son Eugene on their 24ha property near Bangalow in NSW — and to those goats.

The first was rescued by Harriet’s mum and given to them, and soon the herd had grown to three — Molly, Flora and Woody.

Zampa and Harriet also restored an old horse stable to make it a creative space and gallery.

They have planted hundreds of native trees and Zampa has spoken about creating koala corridors, going off-grid and growing all their food.

In 2022 Zampa told that as role models, professional athletes should be encouraged to express opinions about social and environmental issues.

“I don’t think we necessarily just stick to playing, I think a collaborative approach is important,” he said.

“I try and make really conscious choices about what I put into my body, where I buy things from, what materials are sustainable for the planet.

“The world’s changing, the world of business and sport is also changing.”

One can only wonder what Warnie would make of it all.

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