James Foster, the former England wicket-keeper, has announced his decision to retire from all cricket at the end of the season, after Essex decided not to renew his contract.
Foster, 38, played seven Tests, 11 one-day internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals for England between 2001 and 2009, and last turned out in national colours during ICC World Twenty20 2009. He could not create a big impact at the Test level, with 226 runs at 25.11, but has a healthy first-class record of 13,761 runs at 36.69 from 289 matches.
He accounted for 839 catches and 62 stumpings in the first-class game in addition to 246 catches and 65 stumpings in List A and 79 catches and 47 stumpings in T20s. Foster now wants to pursue a career in coaching.
“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,” Foster wrote in an open letter on county’s website. “It has been a real privilege to play for my home county and I am extremely proud to have represented England.”
Foster said the County Championship victory in 2017 was one of his “happiest memories”, and thanked former cricketers and coaches who played an instrumental role in his career.
“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,” he wrote.
You will be missed both on and off the field @JamesFoster07. Thank you so much for inspiring so many people to get involved with the game we love. We know you’ll always be there to continue to inspire many more people. Best of the luck in the next journey Fozzy #ThankYouFozzy https://t.co/R5AKP3Nv8V
— Essex Cricket in the Community (@EssexCCB) September 14, 2018
“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.”
Foster, who also has 3357 List A runs and 2158 T20 runs, outlined building his “coaching CV” as the “next phase” of his career. “Whilst playing has now come to an end, I am incredibly excited about the next phase of my career,” Foster wrote.
“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.”