London, Jan 22 (IANS) After leading Essex for four seasons, Ryan ten Doeschate has stepped down as club captain. In his place, Tom Westley will now lead the side.
During ten Doeschate's tenure, Essex rose to the top of red-ball cricket and won three titles in four campaigns. He captained the side for 58 first-class matches during this period, winning on 33 occasions and suffering defeat just eight times.
The 39-year-old took on the role prior to the 2016 season and immediately led the club back to Division One after claiming the Division Two title at the first attempt.
On ten Doeschate's decision to step down, Essex head coach Anthony McGrath said: "Ryan has been a phenomenal club Captain and as head coach, I couldn't have asked for any more from him.
"Now is the right time for someone else to take the reins and lead the team. It's important to remember that Ryan isn't stepping away from Essex, he's still very much part of this club and I'm sure he will continue to have a positive presence both on and off the field," he added.
Meanwhile, Westley, who will now lead the side, said, "It's a real honour for me to be named Club Captain and it's a challenge that I'm really looking forward to."
"Ryan has done an outstanding job and deserves every bit of praise he gets. He's been a fantastic captain, a close friend and an excellent leader who I've learnt a lot from.
Westley has made 152 first-class, 80 List A and 74 T20 appearances for the Club since making his debut in 2006 and follows in the footsteps of the likes of Keith Fletcher, Graham Gooch and Nasser Hussain in becoming a homegrown Essex Club Captain.
ten Doeschate has represented the Netherlands at the international stage in 33 ODIs and 22 T20Is.