1. ITV Report

Foster declares: Former Essex skipper to leave club

Former Essex cricket captain James Foster is to leave the club at the end of his contract.

Essex County Cricket Club confirmed that the former youth system product will leave the County Ground after 19 years as a pro.

The Wicket keeper made his County Championship debut against Glamorgan in August 2000.

He was capped a year later and went on to captain the side between 2010-2015 during which time he was awarded his benefit year in 2011.

The news comes just days after Essex teammate Alastair Cook pulled up stumps on his international career.

Foster acting as bodyguard for Alastair Cook Credit: James Foster

He leaves the Club having recorded 839 first-class dismissals and he was an integral part of the Club’s Pro40 League victories in 2005 and 2006, the NatWest Trophy in 2008, and last season’s County Championship winning side.

In recent years, he'd moved into coaching.

Essex Captain Ryan ten Doeschate paid this tribute:

“I can’t put into words how great it’s been to share a dressing room with Fozzy [James Foster]. He’s been the rock at Essex for all of the time I’ve played here, the most thorough professional and a cherished friend through thick and thin. Over the last 15 years he’s been a big presence and a great example in the dressing room, we’re going to miss him next season.”

– Ryan ten Doeschate

The club's website has published an open letter from the homegrown star in it he paid tribute to his former team.

One of Foster's 839 dismissals Credit: PA Images

"Thank you to all the Essex players for making it such an enjoyable changing room and winning the County Championship in 2017 was one of my happiest memories. What I appreciated most at the club was the way coaches, management, support staff, stewards and supporters have always made my family feel so welcome at the club, for that, I am truly grateful.

– James Foster

He's the latest to leave the Chelmsford-based side. It was confirmed that Ashar Zaidi and Callum Taylor would move on last week.