TOM Kohler-Cadmore has set his sights on challenging for a first-team spot with Worcestershire this season, but believes he faces strong competition for places.
Batsman Kohler-Cadmore impressed when making 47 on his first-team debut against Bangladesh ‘A’ at New Road last summer.
That followed a record-breaking final season at Malvern College, where he enjoyed a successful four-year scholarship, scoring 1,409 runs, including three scores over 150.
Kohler-Cadmore also show-ed his potential during the County’s pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi and scored 61 during the two-day game with Derbyshire.
The 19-year-old has his feet firmly on the ground, but is determined to push as hard as possible to be involved at senior level this summer.
Kohler-Cadmore said: “Luckily for me, Moeen Ali got called up into the Engand side because that gave me a bit of an extra opportunity, one more batting space, which was really nice for me.
“Luckily, I did quite well in Abu Dhabi, so hopefully I can push on and see where it goes from there.
“The pitches out there were really flat so you could hit through the line of the ball. I was nervous going out to bat, but everyone is really supportive and I don’t feel any pressure from anyone looking down on me saying, ‘He is young’.
“I think everyone here wants to see others succeed and they’re really supportive no matter what you are doing, as long as you are doing the right things.
“Opening up with Daryl Mitchell has been really helpful and if things are a bit tense, he will come down the pitch and give me words of experience. He is a good help for me.”
Kohler-Cadmore, who was part of the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide during the winter, believes the competition to be part of the side can only be beneficial.
He said: “If you are in a side and people are pushing you, then that makes it really good for the squad, the fact you know you’ve got to be scoring runs as a batsman or taking wickets as a bowler.
“I’d like to play all formats by the end of the year and just push on and hopefully cement a place.
“But if I’m not in the first team, it’s about doing as well as I can in the second XI.
“Then I’m pushing for the firsts and, if I get my go, I must take the opportunity.”
Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “The youngsters will all get plenty of first-team cricket this year because they are all good cricketers.
“Tom is an interesting guy, who is very confident and has been a heavy run-scorer in schools’ cricket.
“He is physically a big, strong lad and can hit the ball cleanly so he will definitely get opportunities.
“We also saw a bit of Tom Fell last year and he did well against the Australians, as well as getting a 90 for the first team and a 50 against Northants in a televised one-day game.
“He is another one, who is a similar age to Kohler-Cadmore, and should be pushing for a first-team place.
“Charlie Morris, to me, is the person people will know nothing about, but he does have a wonderful attitude towards being a professional and the lad can bowl.”