Saturday, July 17th, 2021


Captain Ben Cox says Worcestershire Rapids are well equipped to cope with the pressure of winning their final Vitality Blast group match to guarantee a quarter-final spot.

The Rapids will take on Leicestershire Foxes at the Uptonsteel County Ground on Sunday evening, knowing a victory will ensure they finish third or fourth in the North Group, whatever the results may be elsewhere.

But Cox knows the Rapids “have to turn up” to triumph over a Leicestershire side who will still pose a threat even though their own qualification hopes have been dashed.

He said: “The boys love pressure. I love playing in pressure moments. I wanted to be there at the end on Friday (against Birmingham Bears).

“We can handle pressure situations – we’ve been in two finals – and having played in those moments stands us in good stead for at Leicester, which is the last game of the group stages which we need to win.

“Any team that are out of the competition are dangerous. We can’t just think we are going to turn up on Sunday and get a win.

“We need to turn up on Sunday. We can’t have a hangover from the game on Friday and be down in the dumps.

“We bounced back from the Yorkshire game, and we can do it again.

“Leicestershire have got some dangerous players, some world-class players, so we need to turn up on Sunday and do the right things, trust ourselves, trust the process.”

Leg spinner Ish Sodhi bowled four more tight overs against the Bears in the latest in a string of fine performances, and Cox has been impressed with the New Zealander on and off the pitch.

He said: “Ish has been outstanding. He reads the game well. Credit to him, I give him the big overs, and he handles them well.

“He is brilliant; honestly, the energy he brings to the dressing room…he is one of the best overseas we have had for a while.

“As soon as he walks in, it is life, energy, and you can feed off him, and he has gone down really well with the boys.

“He got a late call from us, got off the plane and played straight away and credit to him and the way he has turned up.

“Ed Barnard said, when he handed Ish his cap the other day for four-day cricket, that ever since he has walked into the dressing room, it has felt like he has been there for ages.

“He is great to have around and very useful for a captain to have an attacking leg spinner. Brett D’Oliveira has also been unbelievable.”