Ben McDermott is thankful for the opportunity to represent Derbyshire in the 2021 season, and has big ambitions for the Vitality Blast.
The big-hitting Australia international has committed for the 2021 Vitality Blast and Royal London Cup, after his contract for the 2020 competitions was deferred at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
A powerful wicketkeeper-batsman, McDermott will join up with the Derbyshire squad in the new year and prepare for his first taste of county cricket, after representing Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash, which starts in December.
The 25-year-old is excited by the opportunity to play for the Falcons and hopes that he can lead them to a second Finals Day appearance in three years.
“I’m really looking forward to joining Derbyshire, it’s a great opportunity to play county cricket,” said McDermott.
“It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do, and to get that opportunity with Derbyshire is outstanding, I can’t wait to work with the coaches and hopefully win some games for the Falcons in the Vitality Blast.
“This will be my first experience as an overseas player and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. I’m really grateful for the faith that the coaches have in me and I want to repay them, and the fans, by scoring runs and winning games.
“I’ve seen Finals Day, that’s a really exciting prospect to be a part of and I can imagine the boys who played in that last year were over the moon. Hopefully, I can play a role in getting there, first of all, and then winning the tournament.
“That’s what you want to do as an overseas player: win games for the club, I’ve missed out on a couple of finals myself with Hobart (Big Bash) and Tasmania (Marsh One-Day Cup), and not coming away with silverware hurts, but it gives you that experience of playing in those big games, hopefully next time it’ll go our way.”
McDermott has established himself as a strong top-order batsman whose quick-scoring can take the game away from the opposition, something that was best evidenced during his 2017 century for Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash, widely regarded as one of the best knocks in the competition’s history.
He has since broken into the Australia setup, playing 12 times, and will now join a Derbyshire batting line-up that scored 14 half-centuries between them in the 2019 Vitality Blast.
Having dropped down the order in recent seasons to boost his international exploits, McDermott now hopes to showcase the best of his game in the forthcoming Big Bash, before travelling to Derbyshire.
“I’ll always take the game on, first of all,” he added.
“In the last couple of seasons, I’ve probably gone away a little bit from what I’ve been good at. I tried to be the finisher for Australia, and forced myself down the order for the Hurricanes, which probably led to a bit of a downturn.
“I hit my T20 century batting at three, and I’m really keen to move back up the order and giving myself the best possible chance to make big scores and contribute to the team.
“I’ll be taking the game on and keeping it simple, trying to hit the ball out of the park and hopefully play my part with the gloves as well.”
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