Worcestershire wicket-keeper-batsman Ben Cox has penned a new four year contract and says it is “a statement of intent from the club” signing the bulk of the current squad on long terms contracts.

Cox believes keeping the current group of players – and adding in experienced campaigners like Steve Magoffin – can only enhance the County’s chances of “making inroads” in Division One of the Specsavers County Championship next summer.

The 25-year-old still has three seasons to run of his present contract but has signed an improved and extended deal until the end of the 2021 season.

Cox has enjoyed another excellent season with the bat and behind the stumps.

He scored a career best 124 not out against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham and only the retiring Chris Read of Nottinghamshire ended with more victims in Division Two.

Cox’s efforts earned him the Dick Lygon Award – effectively the clubman of the year – at the County’s Awards Evening – and he also was named in the PCA Team Of The Year for 2017.

The former Bromsgrove School pupil, who made his first team as a 17-year-old, is the ELEVENTH Worcestershire player to have committed his future to the club in 2017 via a new contract.

He said: “I’m delighted to sign a new contract. In general it’s been a real good year for the club and with with everyone signing, it’s a statement of intent from the club that they want all the players here now signing long term contracts and I think it’s good for everyone.

“We want to keep the group of players together we’ve got now, add to that and strengthen which we have with Steve Magoffin already, and hopefully we can add more and start making inroads in Division One.

“The Dick Lygon Award was a nice little surprise at the end of the season and, as far as being part of the PCA Team Of The Year, what is most pleasing is it is done on statistics.

“It is done on runs and catches throughout the year in all three formats and it’s nice to be there above Ben Foakes and Alex Davies.

“Obviously Foakesy is on the main tour with England to Australia and Alex is part of the Lions squad.

“If my MVP stats are ahead of those two across all three formats, then I must be doing something right.”

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes is delighted at Cox becoming the latest player to sign a new contract at New Road.

He said: “I am delighted the lads are sticking together and want to be part of a side which we hope can achieve more success going forward.

“The more everyone stays together, the greater the chance will be of achieving that.

“Ben has had a great season culminating in the Dick Lygon Award which is basically for the all-rounder of the season and contributions on and off the pitch.

“His selection in the PCA team of the season is also a reflection on well he has done. It is based on the Most Valuable Player ratings and shows he has had a very good summer.”