Foster: A privilege to play for Essex and England
PUBLISHED: 14:15 14 September 2018
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Essex's James Foster has written an open letter to supporters, following the news that he will leave the county at the end of his current contract.
The highly-respected wicketkeeper-batsman has played 638 games for Essex, scoring 18,321 and 23 centuries in all formats, and has a highest score of 212 against Leicestershire in 2004.
He averaged an impressive 36.69 with the bat and took 839 first-class dismissals, second only to Brian Taylor (1,231) for Essex.
He also played seven Test matches, five T20s and 11 ODIs for England, appearing in the ICC World Twenty20 in 2009.
After helping Essex win the County Championship Division Two and Division One titles in successive seasons, he has taken his first steps into coaching at Forest School and franchises in Canada and Bangladesh.
He said: “I have really enjoyed my 19 years as a professional cricketer and it is with great sadness that I will no longer be an Essex player. It has been a real privilege to play for my home county and I am extremely proud to have represented England.
“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.
“Thank you to all the coaches I have worked with during my career, especially those who have undergone shoulder reconstructions due to the amount of balls thrown at me in training over the years!
“I feel it is especially important to highlight Stuart Turner, Joe Hussain, Graeme Fowler, Nasser Hussain, Graham Gooch, Dave Houghton, Paul Farbrace, Andy Flower, Nick Wilton and Bruce French. They were all instrumental in my development at various stages within my career and they are probably unaware of the impact they had.
“A special mention must go to my Mum and Dad, sisters and my incredible wife and daughters for their unwavering and loyal support.
“Whilst playing has now come to an end, I am incredibly excited about the next phase of my career. I have been working extremely hard on building my coaching CV and experience over the last three years for various professional, franchise and international teams.
“I am delighted to be working with Sydney Thunder underneath Shane Bond in the upcoming BBL and again with the Mahela Jayawardene at the Khulna Titans in the BPL this winter. Before that, I am very excited to be coaching the Afghanistan Boost Defenders during the ADT20 in Abu Dhabi and I will also continue to coach the talented youngsters at Forest School.
“I wish Essex CCC all the best in the future and look forward to following them as a keen fan.”