Tom Kohler-Cadmore landed back in England at first bird’s song on Christmas morning with a couple of welcome gifts in his hand luggage.
The Yorkshire linchpin batter was carrying two winner’s medals from the Abu Dhabi T10 League and the Sri Lanka Premier League T20, where he starred for Deccan Gladiators and Jaffna Kings.
Kohler-Cadmore spent the best part of two months abroad, and they could hardly have gone better for the 27-year-old with scores of 59 not out and 57 not out in the respective finals.
“I landed at 6am in Manchester on Christmas morning,” he said.
“I saw Santa on the way past as well and gave him a high five. All socially distanced of course. We both washed our hands afterwards!
“It was nice to get back and see my dogs, my girlfriend and mum and dad and to spend Christmas in England, even if the temperature was a bit of a shock.”
Kohler-Cadmore enjoyed a fabulous run of form for both franchise sides.
He was Deccan’s leading scorer in the T10 with 288 runs from 12 matches, including a 96 – the highest score in T10 history. He then scored 296 runs from 11 LPL matches for Jaffna.
The right-hander was in the top five or six run getters in both competitions.
“Both tournaments were amazing,” he continued.
“You can’t really get much better than two trophies from two tournaments played.
“I’ve been really lucky that the teams I’ve been playing in have been star-studded and I’d say favourites to win both titles.
“But to perform out on the park is easier said than done, and we did it, which was brilliant.
“It’s been a good start to the winter cricket wise, and hopefully that can continue in the Pakistan Super League.
“I don’t think there’s a better feeling in cricket than contributing to a win. You adding to the performance makes that winning feeling that bit better.
“To play in finals and contribute is why you play the game.
“In franchise stuff, there’s the added factor of getting used to different environments and the different conditions. And when you’re doing well, it helps you settle in that bit quicker.”
Kohler-Cadmore played alongside some star names during his time abroad, chief among them being West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell.
The pair formed a formidable opening partnership for Deccan in the T10, putting on stands of 159 unbroken, 128 and 58.
The stand of 159 came in the final when Russell scored an unbeaten 90 and then 128 came when Kohler-Cadmore scored his record 96.
“Andre is one of the most sought after players in the world, if not the most sought after player,” he said. “So to watch and learn from him about his power hitting and his batting in general has been so good for me.
“All he wants to do is win. But he’s very laid back. He is exactly what you see on TV. He is so approachable and gives a lot to the team.
“He was happy to talk to me about the game and give advice.
“Every one of his skills, whether it be with bat, ball or in the field, would be in the top percentage in the world alone. So when he does all three, it’s going to be hard to keep him out of games.
“But even if he wasn’t scoring runs in games, he would always add value in other ways. That’s where you see the difference between the good and the great players.
“Wahab Riaz was the same. He was our captain in the T10 and also in the same side in Sri Lanka.
“Shoaib Malik, I played with him in the PSL last year and also in Sri Lanka.
“When you’re watching these guys who have played as much cricket as they have, and you’re able to ask questions and talk to them, it’s invaluable.
“In Sri Lanka, where it was spinning, I was able to talk to Shoaib about how to play spin. It just helps you adapt quicker.
“We had Hasaranga in our team in the T10, and in every game I think he went at six an over. There was one game where he got 5-8 or something daft.
“Every game in both tournaments, we had match winners.”
Kohler-Cadmore said both himself and Russell were desperate to help each other to centuries when scoring their respective nineties.
“To get a hundred in that format would have been such an achievement for either of us, so we both wanted it for each other,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I ended up edging a ball that I tried to defend and it went for four, which meant he couldn’t get his hundred.
“That was really disappointing for me because a few days earlier he’d blocked one to give me four or five balls to try and get four runs for mine.
“I think when I got 90-odd, I faced 10 more balls. But he got his 90 off 32 balls. It just shows the power he has. Even when he was miss-hitting them, they went for six.
“For me, that’s where I want to get to. And I was able to watch and learn from his swing and potentially adapt a bit of it into my game.”
Kohler-Cadmore’s next assignment is the Pakistan Super League with Peshawar Zalmi, scheduled to begin on January 27.
“The overseas leagues have been brilliant. They help you learn and develop as a player so quickly,” he admitted.
“The more games you play, the more experience you have.
“It’s not just flat tracks in England, they can be very tacky abroad or spin a lot. So when you do get onto a tacky pitch in England, you can still be successful.”
All the time spent out in the middle this winter should leave the former Worcestershire man in an excellent position to hit the ground running when the county season begins in April.
“My red ball form last year was very disappointing,” he added.
“Then, I broke my finger. You never have an injury at the right time, but I got injured just as I was starting to get into a bit of form. That was very frustrating.
“When I was back to fitness late on in the Hundred, I started to score some runs and then the season finished.
“There are a lot of things I want to do better, but I feel like my preparation for this summer will be good. Hopefully I can start quickly and put some runs on the board.”