Ryan ten Doeschate and Ravi Bopara will share captaincy duties at Essex © Getty Images
Ten Doeschate replaces James Foster, who relinquished the captaincy in December after agreeing to become the cricket professional at Forest School. Ten Doeschate had led the 50-over and T20 sides since 2014 but he will now hand the reins over to Bopara, whose England days now appear to be behind him.
While Bopara is in contention for an IPL deal – and could miss the start of the NatWest T20 Blast campaign if he is picked up in the auction – ten Doeschate will not be taking part this year and will therefore be around to captain Essex when the Championship season begins in April.
The changes follow a period of reorganisation at Essex, with Chris Silverwood replacing Paul Grayson as head coach and Nigel Hilliard stepping down as chairman.
“Both Ryan and Ravi have proven themselves fantastically committed to the cause here at Essex over a number of years,” Silverwood said. “They command instant respect in the dressing room, and have proven how much they care about the club.
“Ryan will bring many things to the role; he is always a calm head on the field, and has shown over the past two years as limited-overs captain how capable he is. He is a hugely experienced and professional individual. We are aiming not just for promotion, but to be competitive in Division One, and Ryan is the man to lead us there.
“Ravi is at the stage of his career where he is looking to take on more responsibility, and this is the perfect opportunity to give him that. He has played a lot of cricket around the world and will bring that experience into his new role. We have realistic aims to win a limited-overs competition this year, and Ravi is excited about the challenge.”
The arrival of Ronnie Irani as cricket committee chairman during the 2015 season signalled the beginning of a shake-up at Essex, where results have failed to reflect the talent in the squad. Irani’s former team-mate Grayson was moved on after eight years as coach, in which Essex’s sole success was the 2008 FP Trophy, and the club have set a target of returning to Division One for the first time since 2010.
The county will continue to focus on bringing through players from the academy but with Ten Doeschate, Bopara and Foster all signing contracts until the end of 2017, Essex will have a solid senior core as they attempt to break a cycle of failed promotion campaigns and missed opportunities in the short formats.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo