Tom Kohler-Cadmore interview: Bresnan, Yorkshire and Australia’s positive impact

By Sam Dalling

Next time Tom Kohler-Cadmore steps foot in a Headingley dressing room, one man will be conspicuous by his absence.

Having been part of the furniture for almost two decades, last week it was announced that former England star Tim Bresnan will leave his boyhood club.

Since making his First Class bow back in 2003, the all-rounder has amassed over 450 appearances for the county to go alongside 150 caps for England. 

The last of his 23 test matches came in 2013, and he returned to the domestic circuit to help his side to back-to-back Championship crowns between 2014 and 2015. 

In a statement released this
week, Bresnan made it clear he wants to make way for the raft of talent coming
through the ranks.

And Kohler-Cadmore believes it
takes a special human to show that sort of foresight.

“He’s won two Ashes, he was massive in the series down under when they won it – and he’s won a world T20 title – as an individual it’s a career you’d aspire to have yourself,” he said.

“And he’s been phenomenal for Yorkshire as well – back-to-back titles when he fell out of the England set-up.

“That shows the character of the
guy. He always fights for the team. That’s why I haven’t met anyone who has had
a bad word to say about him. 

“It’s obviously a shame to see
him go but he’s thinking about the club in his heart.

“He’s creating a way for the
youngsters to come through and it takes a special man to take that viewpoint
and feel that’s the best time for him to move on. 

“Hopefully when he’s at another club he’s not hitting me on the shin in a game and I’m whacking him around.”

Yorkshire at heart: Tim Bresnan (PA Images)

Kohler-Cadmore comes across as a
mature head on young shoulders.

Having admitted to mistakes in
the past, the 25-year-old is now keen to make his mark at international level.

That look looked uncertain when
he was dropped from the ECB set-up under a black cloud at the start of last
year, but he’s now back in favour and took a step closer to his dream when he
toured Australia with the England Lions this winter.

The youngsters returned unbeaten
against their fiercest rivals, and the former Worcestershire man impressed
enough to be named in the preliminary 55-man England training squad last month. 

And having admitted he was initially delighted just to get the call again, he believes his experiences Down Under bode well for the future. 

“It was nice to get the call and
to know, with everything that went on, there isn’t that black cross against
your name”, he admitted.

“Beating Australia and not losing a game over there is massive.

“To get back in was brilliant. I was so excited to get going and be in the set-up.

“Hopefully in years to come I
will be playing over there in against the full Australian team going “well I’ve
played here before and know roughly how it should play”.

“Little things like the outfield are different – the ball checks a bit so you have to be careful when you hit it through the infield it doesn’t spit up and you are going to get run out. You have to get used to that.

“You can learn so much over there
and when I left Australia I felt an even better cricketer.

“That’s why this period of being locked down has been more frustrating. I felt so ready to hit the season running but obviously it wasn’t meant to be.” 

The Lions programme has earned
praise from many quarters in recent years.

A key design feature that it is meant to mirror touring with the full England set-up, so that as players progress through the ranks the jump to the senior side will be less daunting. 

And that includes giving everyone
the time and space to be themselves.

One size fits all is a thing of
the past; some spend every waking hour in the nets and others prefer to switch
off mentally away from the game. 

Kohler-Cadmore – who returns to training this week in the hope of an international bow later in the summer – has revealed he has a foot in both camps. 

“I have a balanced approach and can be both of those guys,” he said.

“I train really hard and the day before I like to hit a lot of balls and be ready. 

“Then on the day of the game, I
let it take care of itself.

“I know some people like to hit loads of balls in the morning but I will literally stroll in with my front pad on and probably hit ten balls just to feel the middle of the bat.

“As soon as I’ve done that I’m
happy. I’ve found in the past I’d bat for long time in the mornings and feel
like I am making myself worse, so instead I keep it simple.” 

Like cricketers up and down the
land, Kohler-Cadmore is desperate to see the covers come off again.  

The current forecast is that
there will be some sort of cricket this summer, but the County Championship –
in its traditional sense at least – will not take place.

That means another year that the
crown is away from God’s own county.

Having enjoyed unrivalled success under Jason Gillespie’s stewardship, the last few seasons have brought mid-table mediocrity. 

Although the county he joined
mid-way through the 2017 season were an outside title bet, their hopes were
dashed by defeat at the hands of Somerset in September. 

Essex went on to pip the Cidermen to the title and reflecting on what is required to win the silverware he craves, Kohler-Cadmore believes the selfless approach pays dividends. 

“Look at a team like Essex
–  they know how to play on their pitch and how to score more runs than
the opposition.

“Their batsmen don’t care about averages or stats or anything like that. – they care about winning the championship.

“That’s a great way for every
batter to look at it. That’s the way I look at it.

“How many match-winning
contributions have I made?

“I’d happily not score 1000 runs
but know we’ve won the Championship and I’ve contributed to three or four of
those wins. That would be more important to me.” 

The fact that Kohler-Cadmore is looking ahead to title challenges is both a sign of his personal ambition and also a by-product of representing a club like Yorkshire. 

Step-up: Kohler-Cadmore in his Worcestershire days

Having come from a so-called smaller side, few would argue that the move from Worcestershire was a step up.

The expectation of the club’s
fans is well known throughout the country circuit, and they certainly let you
know where you stand.

It would be all too easy as a
player to let that bring you down.  

But rather than shy away from it,
Kohler-Cadmore welcomes the increased scrutiny as he prepares to push for
further honours.  

“The difference is at Worcester
you walk off having got 10 or 15 you get a pleasant ripple and everyone saying
“good effort”,” he explained.

“At Yorkshire if you have a bad game the crowd let you know – they will tell you are an absolute disgrace after a bad session. 

“But I think it’s good to play
under that pressure. Otherwise when you step up to international cricket you’d
be shocked by the pressure that comes your way. 

“I see Yorkshire as a potential middle ground between county cricket and international cricket in terms of scrutiny, although obviously the amount is tiny in comparison. 

“I try and take it in my stride and if someone gives me a bit of constructive criticism when I’m walking off it doesn’t bother me.

“I’m content with the way I go about playing my cricket – what someone says won’t affect my outlook on the game.”

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