Tom Kohler-Cadmore believes the Roses rivalry proves why the Vitality Blast is such a special competition on the world T20 landscape, with the two counties set to meet at Finals Day this weekend.
Yorkshire v Lancashire is, says the Vikings batter – a regular on the global franchise circuit, “the biggest game I’ve ever played in”.
Kohler-Cadmore will be a key figure in the morning semi-final at Edgbaston (11am), where he is determined go out on a high with a trophy in his final season at Headingley before moving to Somerset for next season.
“The Roses is an unbelievable game whether it’s at Headingley or at Old Trafford. To have that at Finals Day will be really special,” he said.
“When you play in other derbies around the world, as amazing as they are, they don’t necessarily have the history because franchise cricket is a pretty new thing.
“This shows the special thing about the Blast. There is a real history to this competition with the 18 counties.
“Your fans are fully engaged in the team, whereas in franchise stuff around the world some fans will just go to watch brilliant players play. It has a slightly different feel in that respect.
“The older franchise cricket, the more history they have. But the Blast games are that bit more special to play in.”
Kohler-Cadmore is in confident mood ahead of Saturday, which will be his first appearance at Finals Day. The day kicks off with a third Roses game of the summer, with Yorkshire searching for their first victory after a tie at Emirates Old Trafford and a four-run defeat at Headingley.
“We’ve managed to sneak in and give ourselves a chance,” he said.
“Now we just need a couple of players to stand up, to get an 80 or a 90 and bowl well, and we could be in the final.”
The 27-year-old has gone through a strange old summer. His game time has been limited to T20 cricket alone following the concussion injury he suffered whilst playing in Pakistan at the start of the year. But he has contributed significantly to Yorkshire’s passage through to Edgbaston.
He has scored 330 runs in 12 games, including three half-centuries. The latest of them was a measured 62 to help Yorkshire recover from 9-2 to post 160-5 in last week’s quarter-final win over Surrey at the Oval.
“My injury has been really frustrating,” he said.
“My cricket’s been limited this year because of it. But when I have played, I’ve performed to a level I’m happy with.
“To be able to contribute to team wins has been pleasing.
“I’d like to be playing in all formats. But, at the same time, it’s enabled me to be fresh and ready for the Blast games.
“I’d have obviously liked more runs against Surrey last week. I got out at the time I was trying to go.
“Myself and Dave were out in the middle were saying, ‘150 or 160 is probably defendable’. If you’d have asked us beforehand, we would have liked closer to 170. But we knew if we got 160, we were in the game.
“It wasn’t one of those pitches where we could race away and get 200. We just had to make sure we gave Shadab and Frainey full license at the end.
“The way Frainey played was incredible for his thirty. If we win this competition, you can look back at that as a key innings.”
The impressive thing about Yorkshire’s Blast campaign has been that performances have come from a number of sources.
Fraine’s excellent 32 not out at the Oval was a prime example, as was Jordan Thompson brilliantly defending five off the last over when disappointed at some of his previous showings with the ball.
“That’s the sign of a good team, isn’t it,” said Kohler-Cadmore, who is fully aware that Finals Day could be his Yorkshire swan-song.
He has not played any Championship cricket this season, although he remains keen to going forwards, and is not available for the Royal London Cup due to Hundred commitments.
“Whether that’s the case, I don’t know,” he continued, having joined from Worcestershire in 2018. “That’s out of my hands. All I can do is perform to the best of my ability, score runs, and see what happens down the line.
“It’s a great club to be involved in. It’s been really good, and I would love to leave on a high with a trophy.
“Everyone at the club’s been great since I’ve been here, and I’m so close to all the lads.”
Of course, Kohler-Cadmore could face Somerset in the 6.45pm final, with the Taunton side facing Hampshire in the other semi-final.
“If it is, it’s a great opportunity for me to show people down there what I can do,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll disappoint them this time and next year make them very happy by winning it with them.
“For me, I couldn’t care less who we’re playing as long as we’re in the final.
“I’ll be going out there doing my best to win for Yorkshire because there’s nothing I’d love more than to win a trophy.
“If we do win a trophy, it’s as much about the years of hard work beforehand as it is about the work we’ve put in this year.
“We’ve been getting closer and closer to being successful in white ball cricket.
“When I joined, we were in a bit of a development phase in red ball cricket. But now we’re at a stage where we can really challenge in all the formats. And all the players have developed. Brooky is the prime example of that. It’s been a long-term fix.”
Lancashire, champions here in 2015, qualified by hammering Essex in last week’s quarter-final at Emirates Old Trafford, arresting a poor second half of the North Group when they slipped from league leaders to second place behind Birmingham.
In the last ball, four-run win at Headingley, Kohler-Cadmore smashed a fabulous 77 off 43 balls.
“It would have been a lot better had we won,” he reflected.
?“It’s all on the context of the game. We were in a position where we should have won that game and didn’t. For me, that knock, I played well. But it doesn’t rank as highly as the 60-odd I scored against Surrey when we won.
“That’s the most important thing.”
Dom Bess, Harry Brook (captain), Dominic Drakes, Will Fraine, George Hill, Shadab Khan, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Tom Loten, Will Luxton, Adam Lyth, Dawid Malan, Matthew Revis, Jonny Tattersall, Jordan Thompson, Matthew Waite.