Ben Cox agrees to stay with Worcestershire until end of 2023 season

Wicketkeeper-batsman, who initially rejected contract extension, is awarded a Benefit Year

Ben Cox shapes to paddle during his half-century, Somerset v Worcestershire, Vitality Blast, Taunton, September 11, 2020

Ben Cox has struck a deal to stay at Worcestershire  •  Getty Images

Ben Cox has agreed terms to keep him at Worcestershire until the end of the 2023 County season.
Cox initially rejected an offer to stay with the club beyond the 2021 season, but Worcestershire announced on Tuesday that he had agreed a two-year contract extension.
Cox, who made his debut for Worcestershire as a 17-year-old schoolboy in 2009, has also been awarded a Benefit Year in 2021, recognising his "lengthy and outstanding service", the club said.
"This club means the world to me, being a Worcestershire boy, and it means a hell of a lot to commit for another three years to the club," Cox told the Worcestershire website. "If you had asked me when I made my debut that you would have had a 15-year career, and the club had offered you a Benefit Year, I would have snapped your hand off.
"I'm over the moon to get things sorted for another three years, and I will still have more to give at the end of this contract, which excites me in itself. Fitness is always something I hold a high regard too, so, as I get older, I don't see that changing, and I just want to keep doing the best I can be every time I go onto the field."
Cox believed that the club had taken "a big step in the right direction" last year in finishing second in the Central group of the Bob Willis Trophy.
"There are some excellent keepers in the country," he added. "If I can finish my career and people are saying 'he was pretty good', that is how I want to leave it."
Cox reached 500 career dismissals last year, including including 343 in first-class cricket, and he has scored 4764 first-class runs. He played a pivotal role in Worcestershire Rapids' 2018 Vitality Blast triumph with Man-of-the-Match performances in the semi-final and final at Edgbaston.
Worcestershire CCC Chairman Fanos Hira said: "It is pleasing that Ben will be with us until at least 2023. He is an impressive, popular player who has performed at a high level as a wicketkeeper since making his debut as a local schoolboy. He has ability, ambition, desire and potential to improve further.
"I'm delighted he has reflected on and accepted our contract extension. Members will be able to support him in his richly deserved Benefit Year during his contract. We wish him well."