After hammering an unbeaten 68 off 33 balls on the opening day of the 2023 edition of Abu Dhabi T10, Deccan Gladiators opener Tom Kohler-Cadmore admitted that he was surprised to see the swing on the surface at the Zayed Cricket Stadium. The English batter is quite used to playing in the UAE conditions, as he has displayed his skills across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah over the past couple of years in multiple leagues. But the cool winds and a patch of grass on the track made the conditions suitable for swing bowlers.
“They bowled very nice up top, it swung a bit more than I am used to it, especially out here. It was quite hard. It felt like when they bowled in too full, it was sticking on the surface. I found it little tricky to get used to that,” Tom said.
While heavy hitters Nicholas Pooran, Andre Fletcher and Andre Russell went back to the hut after mistimed shots, Kohler-Cadmore carried on, smashing big hits all around the park. With 6 sixes, the 29-year-old made a 27-ball fifty, and then carried on the innings to help his side to a massive total of 118 in 20 overs.
After Gladiators won by 22 runs, the right-handed opener was named the player of the match.“The surface still played beautifully, we nearly scored 120 so that is a good pitch. It was my first hit that I have had on grass in a while, so there was a bit of rustiness, getting used to the bowlers facing again. But I think the pitch is very good,” Kohler-Cadmore added.
The next day, he continued his good nick of form as he slammed 42 off 20 balls to give Gladiators a good start, before an attempted lofted shot missed the intended mark. But with consistent performance off top, on consecutive days, the opener made a case for himself to be considered for an international call-up, something which has been a childhood dream for him.
“Obviously, playing for England is my biggest dream. But it is not in my hands. I try to win and perform in every game, across all competitions. If England want to call me, I will be there straightaway,” Kohler-Cadmore said.
It could be fate, as when Tom was smashing sixes against Delhi Bulls at Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday, a 21-member player group was having a training session, just next door at Tolerance Oval, Sheikh Zayed, Nursery Ground. England Lions are currently having their winter training camp in Abu Dhabi till December 7th, with a focus on the red ball.
“It's been my dream since I was a child to represent England in international cricket. But all I can do is continue to score runs and wait for my opportunity. If I can keep scoring runs, hopefully I will be called. But the most positive thing for me right now is that I am continuing to enjoy what I am doing,” Tom added. .
“I am lucky enough to play cricket and travel all around the world. Everyone wants to be here in Abu Dhabi right now, and I am lucky to be here. So, if I can continue to play cricket all around, I am happy, too, in a different way,” he signed off.
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