BEN Cox has revealed the “sheer joy and relief” he felt after scoring his maiden First-Class century for Worcestershire in the LV = County Championship clash with Hampshire at New Road.
Cox was delighted his parents were present to witness his 100 which arrived via a flick through mid-wicket for three off Hampshire paceman James Tomlinson.
The County wicketkeeper had scored a career-best 89 earlier in the season against Kent, but this time made no mistake in getting to three figures.
Cox said: “It felt amazing to be honest, a massive sigh of relief when I got it through mid-wicket. It was sheer joy.
“I’ve threatened it a couple of times this season so it was good to actually get it out of the way now and hopefully get another one around the corner.
“I was really, really nervous. I was going back to my routines and trying to get every nerve out of me.
“I was trying to focus on every ball coming at me because I knew it was around the corner.
“I was within four runs and I was thinking ‘one boundary here, just throw your arms at one’ but then I thought ‘no’ and fortunately I got one through mid-wicket.
“You could tell the relief was there. It’s one of those boxes I’ve wanted to tick for ages and I threatened it with 89 against Kent but I got too far ahead of myself trying to score too quickly for the team.
“I’m just pleased to get it, it was a massive sigh of relief as you can probably tell.
“I was glad my parents were there to watch and support and I couldn’t be happier if I’m honest.
“They follow us around quite a lot at the minute but it is nice to have their support here. I’ m really glad they were there.”
Cox was glad of the support out in the middle from Jack Shantry as he approached his milestone.
Cox said: “Jack kept me calm because as soon as I got in the 90s I said to Jack ‘I’m nervous here mate, say something’ and he is always good.
“He said ‘look mate, I’ve got all the confidence in you, just keep going, watch every ball, take it as it comes’ and he put it into perspective really.
“I was thinking, ‘Where am I going to get two boundaries from?’ and he told me to focus on the next ball which is very true.”
Cox received a rousing reception from his team-mates and coaches on the dressing room balcony when the magic moment arrived.
He said: “When I came off, the lads said they were so nervous for me which is nice and it shows the team ethic we’ve got. Everyone wants you to do well, a lot of people I’ve played with for years and years now.
“It’s nice they feel the nerves that I feel. We all get on so well and share each other’s successes.”
n Worcestershire Seconds will be finally hoping to return to action with a double-header against Glamorgan at Kidderminster this week.
The Seconds have had their last six days of action washed out, starting with three days against Nottinghamshire at Royal Grammar School, Worcester.
Then three 50-over friendly matches at Stone, Bristol and Bromsgrove respectively suffered the same fate.
But they will keep their fingers crossed for better fortunes when they entertain Glamorgan at Chester Road today in a Second XI Trophy match.
Then the two teams will meet again at the same venue in a three-day Second XI Championship match which gets under way tomorrow.
It is the start of a busy period of cricket for the Seconds who take on Warwickshire in a three-day friendly at Barnt Green next Tuesday.
Director of cricket Steve Rhodes said: “You can’t do anything with the weather and the games weren’t played on major county grounds so the cleaning up operation doesn’t happen.
“It is sad they are not getting opportunities to shine but the chance will come.
“It’s a long season and the weather hopefully will have some consistent clear spells and we will see plenty of cricket from those guys.”