“Guys like Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith and David Warner are all back in the mix which pushed me out,” McDermott told ESPNcricinfo. “You get a go through injuries, stuff like that: Mitch Marsh got injured in Pakistan, Maxwell and Warner weren’t there. You’re aware that when those guys come back they have first preference.
“It’s not the worst back-up plan to come to a really good club, play a full season in a T20 league different to the Big Bash and experience new conditions and expand my game. It’s always been a dream of mine to play county cricket.
“I was signed with Derbyshire for two years: the first was deferred because of Covid and last year I was called up by Australia. I ended up playing two Championship games for Derbyshire – which was a bit of a surprise really because I was over for the Blast. It was an easy decision to come over – I jumped at the chance.”
McDermott, 27, had a breakthrough season in the BBL for Hobart Hurricanes, scoring 577 runs with an average of 48.08 and a strike rate of 153.86 and breaking up one of the competition’s most established opening partnerships between Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short.
“It’s a really good side: it’s pretty packed,” he said. “They won the T20 World Cup so I don’t see it changing too much. It would be really nice to be in that squad and experience what those guys did in Dubai – it looked spectacular – and if I do well here it’s not going to do my case any harm.
“But it’s going to be tough to crack into. I’ve had 25  international T20s now and haven’t really taken those opportunities. I’ve had a good crack at a lot of different batting positions as well so hopefully I can really nail down a gameplan at the top of the order and keep being consistent with it.”
“I’ve had some starts here and there but hadn’t been able to do it for long periods of time,” he said after that innings. “Tonight was an exception and hopefully it is a kickstart for things to come. Tournament cricket is about momentum and I’ve never played in a tournament which is so congested, where games are coming thick and fast.”
McDermott said: “There seemed to be a lot going on with replacement players last year and I’m sure there will be some players coming and going with international duty too. I’m definitely in that wildcard draft; at this stage I’m focused on the Blast, but the Hundred looks like a serious competition so hopefully I can pick something up.”