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Foster delighted with title he didn't foresee

If this is James Foster’s final summer as a professional, the Essex wicketkeeper and former captain will be making a high profile appearance, he hardly believes it is possible. The 37-year-old Foster is out of contract at the end of the season, and despite his one-year deal, Essex’s surprise title win could prove a fitting end.

Back in Chelmsford after Essex festivities started the night before in Birmingham, ‘Fozzy’ ​​feels a bit Vague. He is understood to be weighing a one-year deal but has already looked ahead to the next phase of his career. This year he has been involved in coaching Scotland and MCC youth cricket teams, while continuing his role as a cricket professional at Walthamstow Forest School.

Capped by England at 21, Foster is seen alongside Chris Reid as the best of his generation One of the goalkeepers. He has 800 dismissals in first-class cricket at Essex, second only to Brian Taylor in club history. Although he started the season on the wing with Adam Whitt giving him his chance behind the stumps, Foster fought to reclaim his place and was part of a title-locked XI – which he believes is in the Essex’s highest achievement in 17 years.

“Without a doubt, at the end of my career,” he said. “From a purely selfish point of view, I’m very happy to have won the county championship. Every year you see other teams win and you think, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to be in that position’ and now we’re finally doing It’s here.”

Foster, who has been promoted three times with Essex, has been relegated quickly each time, admitting he did not Thinking of being a champion at this stage.

We played a lot of Division 2 cricket. The few games we’ve played in Division 1 have been outright relegated, so I guess you think that’s probably never going to happen — but I’m super happy that it has, the way we’ve played this season. It may have stemmed from the start of last season, winning the second division, but to do so, absolutely thrilled. “

Foster was one of four England players in the squad with Alastair Cook, Ravi Beau Parra joined Tom Westley, while others such as Jamie Porter and Dan Lawrence went on to international honours. However, it was only Nottinghamshire in 2005 who were crowned champions the year after promotion, Fau Sturt said he was surprised by Essex’s success.

“We’ve always had talent here, we’ve had some really good Players…but doing this this year, it doesn’t really sink in, it might start a few weeks into our hands when we actually get the trophy. It’s a lot of work, but the number of games we’ve won this year, it’s really kind of weird. It’s hard to do, winning four days, we’ve won too much.

“We’ve really gotten used to it, we go from game to game trying to keep our process, trying to keep it very Simple, it works all the time. As many will understand, you make it, you get real belief, and when you get into a tough time, you believe you can get out of it.”

Foster points to Essex’s opening game at home against Lancashire as a pivotal moment of their season . After a 160-point lead, they were then set to 478 to win in four matches, but remained tied by six wickets thanks to Lawrence’s unbeaten 141.

“You actually look at our first game of the season, we lost it easily. But I think that Gave us a lot of confidence and it was an amazing hit from Daniel Lawrence, 140-plus not out, and in the end I think it was huge for us. And then we got it at Lorde early in the season Very good draw and when we got our backs against the wall again we started to win and we got the momentum. The boys played especially well, more than one or two and everyone raised their hands.”

Captained Grayson under former coach Paul, and in five seasons in the Second Division, Foster played against current Ryan Doss Chart and Greg Appreciation was given by Reece Silverwood’s combination, who have overseen the four-day championship for several years in a row.

“They’ve been fantastic, they’ve built a really good partnership,” Foster said, “and they’ve worked really, really well together. “I think they all have their own style and stamp their authority on the side, but in the end they’re all very relaxed. Chris believes that cricket is fearless – easier said than done. The work behind the scenes was well done, but in the end the performance on the pitch proved the players. “

If Foster decides to retire, it will be one of Essex’s most outstanding servants. Especially Bhopala, He is delighted that the club’s longest-serving player has won the trophy. “I’m really happy for everyone at the club, especially the older boys who have been here for a long time,” he said. “Fozzy , especially, I’m very happy for Foz. We should enjoy this for the next few weeks. “

Alan Gardner is associate editor of ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick



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