Ben Coad and Tom Kohler-Cadmore have heaped praise on each other as the pair reflected on a strong friendship that has developed from their days as Under 14s team-mates and looked forward to starring together in 2018 and beyond.
Coad has described the former Worcestershire batsman as always being “a freakishly great player” having first played with him for the White Rose juniors in 2008 and 2009.
And Kohler-Cadmore said of the now 50-wicket seamer: “Ben’s bowling has been about hitting the right spot and asking questions. You can certainly see why he got all the success he had in the summer.”
Tom Kohler-Cadmore in the Club's U15s
The pair recently took part in the snazzy reveal video of Yorkshire’s new NatWest T20 Blast shirt at Studio 81 in Leeds.
“We started playing together at Under 14s, but I’m sure we probably played against one another well before that,” said Kohler-Cadmore. “But we only built our friendship from Under 14s.
“He was a bit smaller, and a bit skinnier too if that’s possible.
“He’s got quicker as he’s grown up, but never used to leave a spot. I think at U14s I was keeping to him – and it was so nice because I just stood there. Some of the other guys made me work harder, which wasn’t as much fun.
Ben Coad in the Club's U15s
“We’re both quite stupid and mess around a lot. But when required we can switch on, which is the important thing.
“It’s important to know when you can mess around and when you’ve got to knuckle down and focus.
“We’re doing our job when we’re at cricket, training hard and trying to get better.”
Coad, whose breakthrough year saw him claim 50 Championship wickets in 2017, has lofty ambitions for the pair, brought into focus by what is coming up in English cricket over the next month or two.
“The aim for any cricketer is to play for England, and the Ashes is the highest calling you can get for a cricketer,” he said.
“So hopefully down the line that’s where we’ll get to. But it’s about performing well for Yorkshire first.
“I’m looking to have a similar year and maybe break into the white-ball stuff a bit more.
“It’s about monitoring me throughout the year and keeping me fit. I’m going to try and get those 50 wickets for the team and make a substantial contribution.
“Other teams might have an eye on me now and be watching out for me after what happened last season.
“I don’t feel any added pressure, I just feel more confident now knowing that I can do it – especially for a full year and not just a little period.”
On the pair’s friendship, Coad continued: “Tom’s a good lad, and even when he moved away to Worcester we kept in touch and had a little trip to Australia together as well.
“He’s always been a freakishly great player, and at Under 15s he broke all the records and scored nearly 1,000 runs, which back then was quite incredible to watch.
“You knew he was a special talent with the bat. That’s why Worcester came in for him so early, unfortunately for us.
“They really wanted him and obviously saw what a talent he was.
“The offer they made was very hard for him to turn down.
“They basically offered him a professional contract within a few years, something that couldn’t be guaranteed at Yorkshire.
“It was the right move for him, he played a lot of first-team cricket for them and has become a great player off the back of that. Thankfully he’s come back to his home county.
“We stayed in touch, and we did have a winter away together at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Adelaide and played against each other for a few years.”
Ben Coad and Tom Kohler-Cadmore during their playing days together for Yorkshire Under-15s.
Trip to Oz
Kohler-Cadmore recalled: “I couldn’t score a run over there, but we had a hell of a time!
“It was really good out there.
“I knew Ben and had travelled with another Worcester team-mate as well.
“It was good to meet other professional cricketers, so now when we travel around the country, playing different teams, you tend to know a couple of lads in the opposition dressing room.
“Usually, when I play against someone I know, I’ve always got a massive smile on my face as they’re running in to bowl at me, but with Ben it was more of a smile of annoyance because he just doesn’t leave a spot.
“I’m trying to whack him, but he’s not moving off an area, which makes it hard for me to hit.
“It’s always good fun playing against someone you know because if I hit him for six, I get bragging rights. If he gets me out, he has them instead.”
Yorkshire's Ben Coad takes the applause from the crowd after taking 6-25 against Lancashire.
Yorkshire's Tom Kohler-Cadmore bats.
After moving from New Road, Kohler-Cadmore scored two fifties in 14 appearances across T20 and Championship cricket for Yorkshire in 2017 – 75 in a T20 defeat at Leicestershire and 76 in a Championship draw against Surrey at the Oval.
He is confident there is more to come next summer: “I want to break into the four-day stuff, cement my spot and be able to go out there and win matches,” he said.
“I judge myself on how many games I win for the club, so its quite hard to set targets.
“When I bat, I want to go out there and win the game.
“Sometimes me winning the game might be 30 off 10 balls, which is a massive contribution or it might be in a four-day game where I’ve got 100 off 250 balls.
“For me, it’s all about putting the team first. If you win enough games as a cricketer, the personal stuff will look after itself.”
And on Yorkshire’s squad as a whole, he added: “The squad we’ve got at the moment is very experienced, but it has a lot of youth as well. It’s a great combination.
“We’ve got the youngsters pushing the older guys and the older guys pushing themselves because they don’t want to miss out on playing.
“As a squad, it’s great to have everyone working as hard as possible. Hopefully we’ll see the results of that out there on the pitch.
“It’s all about having the best eleven out there to go and win the game.
“Hopefully I’m one of those eleven and I perform. I just want Yorkshire to compete for trophies in all three forms.”