WORCESTERSHIRE's star wicketkeeper Ben Cox has turned down a new contract offer from the club.

Cox is widely regarded as one of the best keepers in the English game and is out of contract at the end of the 2021 season with a number of clubs rumoured to be interested in his signature.

Senior Correspondent at ESPNcricinfo, George Dobell, reported that he was offered a two-year extension on improved terms but has decided to go into the final year of his contract, meaning he will be able to hear offers from other counties.

The 28-year old has been with the club since he was 17 and after an initial struggle, has now developed into one of the best in the country.

Aged 28, Cox is at the stage of his career where he may feel time is running out on his ambition to play international cricket. While he has represented England Lions and secured a contract with Trent Rockets in the Hundred, he has limited franchise experience.

Cox also had to recently pull out of a stint in the Abu Dhabi T10 because of Covid-19 - and was briefly left out of Worcestershire's County Championship side in favour of Alex Milton.

He was player of the match in both the semi-final and the final of the T20 Blast when Worcestershire won the competition in 2018 - he made an unbeaten 46 in the final and finished the game off with a six and four off now England bowler Jofra Archer.

The English Cricket Board prohibits approaches on contracted players until their final season has begun so as of yet there has been no contact between Cox and any other players.

But it is likely that several - including, perhaps, Somerset and Warwickshire - could be interested in a player with Cox's skills. Nottinghamshire could be another destination due to their wicketkeeper Tom Moores being out of contract at the end of the season and having not yet signed an extension.

Worcestershire's management revealed Cox's status at an online forum with county members. The minutes from the meeting said they would be "disappointed" if he left but saying "that is up to the player." They also revealed that former captain, Daryl Mitchell, former England Lions player Ross Whiteley, Riki Wessels, Josh Dell and Milton are out of contract at the end of the 2021 season.