Together, We Are All Derbyshire: Michael Cohen Q&A

Saturday 18th April 2020

During these challenging times for all, we want to help keep everyone associated with the club and wider community positive and engaged. We’re in this together and Together, We Are All Derbyshire. 

South African-born left-arm quick, Michael Cohen, joined Derbyshire over the winter and met up with the squad during pre-season.

He arrived with a reputation as a fierce young bowler, capable of topping 90mph, and early indications during training showed that he’ll bring a new dimension to the Derbyshire pace attack.

With preparations currently curtailed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we caught up with Cohen to find out how he’s settled into life with Derbyshire.

How pleased are you to have joined Derbyshire and have the chance to play in England?

I’m extremely excited to be part of Derbyshire County Cricket Club – especially in such a momentous year. It’s an immense privilege. I am really looking forward to this season as well as my time playing in England.

You’ve had a couple of months to work with the coaching team and your new teammates. How have you settled into the new environment?

The freezing cold mornings took a few days of adjustment! Besides that, I have been made to feel at home within this environment. It did help to have a familiar face in Leus Du Plooy, but I am appreciative of the inclusiveness of my teammates and coaching team and look forward to getting to know more about each other over the coming months.

How much have you enjoyed working with Steve Kirby so far?

Kirbs has had a profound impact so far. He has tremendous energy, knowledge and a love for the game that is infectious. Sessions with him are really enjoyable – I have even been blindfolded in the pursuit of technical improvements and told to try run in and bowl. He puts a lot of work into Derbyshire’s structure and I’m looking forward to continuing my career with him as well as Dave Houghton and Mal Loye.

Will you be looking to learn from the experience of Ravi Rampaul and Tony Palladino?

Learning from those who have experience is extremely beneficial. However, it isn’t just limited to the senior bowling core, but includes the batters, both senior and developing, within the squad. In the conversations I’ve had with Tony so far, I have been thankful for his willingness to share vast amounts of experience, information and cricket-related stories. All of which is not only enjoyable but truly is beneficial to the younger crop of bowlers, myself included.

You are part of a crop of younger bowlers, such as Sam Conners and Anuj Dal, who are competing for places in the team. Does that help to motivate you more and push all of you forward in your development?

I believe we have an amazing environment and healthy competition between players. It is not necessarily about using competition in order to forward the development of players, but rather each member of the squad wanting to be as prepared as possible to make the greatest impact when the season eventually gets underway. The squad has great ambitions for the season and are really working hard towards that. So far, the younger players have been positively impacted by the “safe-to-fail” environment at the club.

The current situation has made your start to life with Derbyshire far from normal. What are you doing to stay fit and sharp at the moment?

Besides trying to maintain personal fitness while adhering to the government’s guidelines, I have been spending a lot of quality time with my guitar and keeping on track with some university work to keep busy.

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