The start of the 2010 season has been touched with tragedy, with the untimely death of Toby Cox in an avalanche while ski touring on the Monte Rosa glacier on Sunday 18th April. Our thoughts are with Libby, Jimmy, Andrew and the family.
Toby awarded himself the soubriquet ‘The Legend’ following his remarkable feats with the bat in 2000, finishing with 580 runs (the highest total in a Straggler season) at an average of 116 (the only batsman to average over 100 in a season). His batting continued to be the stuff of legend (leading run scorer again in 2001), and his arrival at the crease was always greeted with eager anticipation.
Toby opened his Straggler account modestly in 1992, but soon was striking sixes with the flourish that was to become his hallmark. Will Gow’s car provided a useful target at Goodnestone and took some punishment. Toby enjoyed the challenge of getting an innings underway with a maximum, and piqued a few opponents in the process.
I happened to be scoring, when Toby reached his first Straggler century at Old Wives Lees in 1994. As a ‘counter’ he knew his score, and so ran the first run of the requisite 2 with his bat raised to acknowledge the crowd some considerable time before I had alerted the crowd to the need to applaud. Toby went on to score five centuries in his Straggler career, and, although his appearances diminished in frequency during his Paris sojourn, he became, in 2009, the seventh Straggler to reach 3,000 career runs, and was mentioned in despatches for his 7 sixes in four overs at Bishopsbourne.
Toby’s bowling career was more modest, although if you were a Match Manager needing an option, Toby could often be seen very obviously loosening up. He did take a wicket on his bowling debut, and bowled an electrifying one over spell at Goodnestone in 2009 before departing to catch a ferry.
In the field Toby had a wonderfully safe pair of hands, taking a number of excellent catches, among the more memorable of which was at Sheldwich. Toby was inches from the short ‘road’ boundary, and the batsmen was certain he had no need to run. Toby, without moving his feet or even seeming to be awake, leaned nonchalantly to one side to pluck the ball one handed and prevent a certain six.
Toby was an enthusiast and a contributor in evertyhing he did. We will miss him.