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BEN Cox is determined to "leave no stone unturned" in striving to realise his ambition to become "the best keeper in the country."

The Worcestershire player has been undertaking a demanding training programme this winter at Malvern College.

The 25-year-old, who has been in outstanding form for the past two seasons, says he is "not one for mediocrity" or content to work within a comfort zone.

He says it was director of cricket Steve Rhodes who ingrained into him as a youngster the philosophy of "working harder to become better."

Cox has even been batting for spells from 18 yards rather than the 22 out in the middle as part of his plan to be challenged and to improve as a keeper.

He said: "I want to focus on working hard and developing as a player and try and test myself as a keeper.

"It sounds funny but I'm trying to drop as many balls as I can this winter because if I'm dropping balls, it means the drills are hard enough for me as opposed to the past.

"The keeping drills have not been too easy but they were not challenging enough so I've been trying to test myself in that department.

"Everything is faster, closer, trying to replicate match situations, diving off the wrong foot, things that happen in a game that you wouldn't usually train but I'm trying to train which is good because I'm covering bases which usually don't get covered.

"Hopefully come the season, every stone has been unturned."

Cox added: "I'm not one for mediocrity. I strive to be the best. I want to be the best wicket-keeper in the country and I will continue to do that.

"With my fitness levels, I try and be above everyone else, with cricket try and work harder than everyone else. I think it is something that is ingrained in me.

"That started from Bumpy (Steve Rhodes). He ingrained it in me when I was younger that I had to work harder to become better and it has just stayed with me now.

"You can either shy away from it or enjoy the thrill of being out of your comfort zone. There is a quote 'life doesn't begin until you step out of your comfort zone'.

"It's about pushing yourself out of that as much as you can to be able to become better like I do in training, batting for 18 balls at 18 yards at good pace as opposed to 22, fast and angry to try and hit me.

"Like I said, leave no stone unturned, that's a philosophy I try to go by."

Cox has also worked hard at improving his concentration to ensure he is at the top of his game throughout the demands of a six hour day.

He said: "I was terrible at school (with concentration) but as a keeper you have to have it and now it is quite natural.

"In the past I would tire quickly after the first hour after tea.

"The last hour of the day would be really challenging to really switch yourself on every ball but now, with higher fitness levels it's become natural which is good."