WORCESTERSHIRE wicket-keeper Ben Cox has said he feels he can challenge for an England Lions spot next winter.
The 23-year-old said he messed up his chances of an international call-up this winter because of a drop in form at the end of last season.
Cox played a full role in the county’s promotion campaign, scoring his maiden first class century and playing several other important innings.
He also earned praise for his performances behind the stumps from former England and current Essex keeper James Foster.
Cox, who has been playing club cricket in Australia this winter, said: “Have I got England goals in my mind? Of course. I feel I definitely messed up my chances of a Lions tour last season with my end of season form.
“Sam Billings had an outstanding one-day campaign. When you do something like that, you can’t be ignored.
“At the wrong time, I was failing so all the hard work I did earlier in the year kind of went to nothing.
“In my mind I’ve got to tell myself that Sam is probably not going to average 130 again. Myself and Sam are good mates so it’s more good competition.
“It is pleasing to see him do well and see him on the tour because he is one hell of a player – but I want to be that competition.
“A Lions spot next winter? Yes of course. I tried to do some stuff with Bruce French (England wicket-keeping coach) when England were in Melbourne but, because the MCG was in lockdown pretty much, I wasn’t able to do anything.
“Frenchy wanted to do some work with me which is pleasing enough as it is. That is good news.
“Bumpy (Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes) helped me out with (organising) that. I was struggling with keeping-coaching out there (in Australia).”