Cox looking forward to Hundred
Cox looking forward to Hundred

Kent Cricket batsman Jordan Cox has branded his Hundred deal “pretty amazing” as he prepares to take part in the competition’s inaugural year, starting this week.

Cox, 20, was a wildcard pick for the Oval Invincibles and will be part of the squad this summer alongside Kent teammates Sam Billings, Alex Blake, and coach Matt Walker.

Signing late didn’t make a difference to the youngster, who is excited for the competition and ready to enjoy the ride.

“I had a dream of me not getting picked and I woke up with no notifications or anything, so I thought maybe next year,” said Cox. “Then about an hour later, Tom Moody (Oval Invincibles head coach) called me, and I was like “hello, who’s this”, as you do – it said no called ID!

“He said I had been picked as a wildcard. It is amazing and as I was so happy after and I am so excited with my game and how it has been going.”

Cox has shown great progress over the last few years for Kent, becoming an ever-present in both their red and white ball sides. Now he has a gig in the competition everyone is talking about, and it is a symbol of his hard work.

He said: “It is the next step on my ladder – I take every day as it comes really; training, working, fitness, all that sort of stuff, and as my father always says, it will all fall into place if it is right.”

Cox helped Kent to a first-place finish in the South Group in the Vitality Blast, resulting in a home quarterfinal and the potential for a finals day at Edgbaston later this summer. 

It was probably his white ball form that helped him earn his Hundred deal. Cox scored 300 runs in nine innings in the group stage at a strike rate of 135.74 and average of 60.

His high score was 61 not out from 28 balls in an 11-run victory over rivals Surrey at the start of July, a coming-of-age innings to help his side to an important win.

“In the T20s I was striking at about 120 and needed to up it,” Cox joked. “It is nice to get a home draw. Hopefully we will win the next one, but it is just baby steps.”

Cox has spent a lot of time batting with fellow Spitfire Jack Leaning, and the two have formed quite the friendship since Leaning’s arrival in 2019. They put on a club-record partnership of 423 against Sussex in the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy, and have become partners both on and off the field.

Leaning didn’t receive a Hundred deal despite his stellar season in a Spitfires shirt, and Cox was gutted to see his friend miss out.

“I am annoyed that he didn’t get one,” said Cox. “He is such an outstanding player. I think they will find out they have missed a bullet, but I am gutted for him, I really am.

“I didn’t realise both the wildcard picks and replacements were picked, so no wonder he was a bit upset, but I thought he would 100% have a chance. Unfortunately he hasn’t got there. 

“Jack and I always go about our business. He is such a good batsman to play with – so simple, so easy, and all the confidence from him I can take for myself. Jack helped me so much against Surrey.

“He has enjoyed his time here, is playing amazing cricket and you don’t wish an injury on anyone, but I really hope that he is a part of it next year. He is an outstanding player.”

Cox’s Oval Invincibles get the men’s competition underway on Thursday when they host the Manchester Originals at the Oval. In total, seven Kent players will take part in the competition and be absent from the Spitfires squad during the Royal London One Day Cup competition, in which Leaning will serve as Kent captain.