October 4, 2022
Pak vs England 2022 – Jordan Cox – ‘I thought I had slipped under the radar’

England will arrive in Karachi on Thursday morning for their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years, a historic visit that will see them play seven T20 Internationals under presidential-level security conditions.

The duration of his absence is illustrated by the fact that his 20-man squad made a single professional appearance among them when England played their last international in this country in 2005: Moeen Ali, who was in the early stages as captain. Will deputize this tour, playing for Warwickshire against Cambridge UCCE at the age of 17.

The youngest member of the touring party, Jordan Cox, celebrated his fifth birthday when an England team last landed in Pakistan. One of five uncapped players in the squad and one of six who will not travel to Australia for the T20 World Cup, Cox is set to become the first player born in the 2000s to be England’s men at some stage during the series. represent.

Despite two impressive seasons in T20 Blast for Kent and one in a hundred for Oval Invincible, his call-up came as a surprise to him. “I haven’t really been picked in any league,” he told ESPNcricinfo before moving to Pakistan, “so I thought I was slipping under the radar, just doing my job without anyone noticing.” Then, the next thing I know, I’m being picked on the tour.”

His phone rang at 8.20 a.m. after Invincible was out of the hundred, and, not recognizing Matthew Mott’s number, he rolled onto the bed in his Manchester hotel room and ignored her. A follow-up text prompted him to ask his teammate Jack Haynes, where he knew Mott’s name from breakfast—”I’m the worst person in the world”—and his pancakes became cold as he tried to pick up the news. In the.

“I still really can’t believe it now,” he said. “Obviously it’s an absolute honor to represent my country at the age of 21. When I was a kid, I really wanted to play cricket, but I didn’t realize it. [an England call-up] It was going to happen as soon as possible. It must mean they think I’m a good player, which means a lot.”

Cox made a name for himself at senior level by scoring a double century for Kent in the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy – he was bizarrely forced to self-isolate shortly after posing for a picture with some fans – but while his The first-class record (three centuries, and an average of 37.82) is solid, it is in the shorter formats that he has starred.

He was instrumental in Kent’s Blast title in 2021, coming in at No. 5 and balancing boundary-hitting with strike rotation, before impressing at No. 3 this season and several different in the Invincibles’ batting line-up. moved to different positions. in a hundred.

“He’s seen me bat all over the order. It’s not just about hitting sixes for me: I start my innings busy, hitting big pockets to get another two and playing strong shots for four.” I’ll look for it, then kick. From there. Hopefully I can fill in the gap they needed.”

Cox grew up as a wicket-keeper – he is one of four in this journey along with Jos Buttler, Phil Salt and Ben Duckett – but quickly earned a reputation as one of the best boundary-riders in county cricket, the most Clearly for his role in a brilliant relay catch with Matt Milnes in the Blast Finals last season.

“When I first joined the staff at Kent, it was hard for me to do too many things: we had [Sam] billings, [Ollie] Robinson, [Adam] Rouse and I asked myself ‘How do I get into my white-ball team and make a difference?’ And I thought maybe it came as a gun fielder. I’ve worked really hard on this, and it has paid off.

“It’s not as good as I’d like yet. Heino Kuhn, who left Kent a few years ago, was the best and all the boys said he was comfortably the best in the world. Learning from him – watching the batsmen and finding out where they were Where are you going before you hit the ball – definitely helped me a lot.”

After touring India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with England Under-19s, Cox is used to spending time in hotels in the subcontinent, but Karachi will still feel far away from Canterbury.

“I’m really looking forward to moving on. Hopefully I get a chance, and I’ll try to take it with both hands.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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