Essex County Cricket Club can today confirm that Ryan ten Doeschate will retire from professional cricket at the end of 2021.
The all-rounder joined Essex in 2003 after impressing Graham Gooch during a pre-season game in South Africa. He’s gone on to make 554 appearances across all formats for the Club over his 19 seasons at Chelmsford, scoring 17,046 runs and taking 348 wickets.
His first piece of silverware came in 2005, with the Eagles capturing the totesport League. The side successfully defended their title in 2006, whilst ten Doeschate was awarded his County Cap later that year. He also made the highest score of his career in 2006, making an unbeaten 259 for the Netherlands against Canada in Pretoria.
In 2008, ten Doeschate played an instrumental role as he and Grant Flower saw the Eagles over the line in the Friends Provident Trophy Final at Lord’s. Later in 2008, he was named the ICC Associate Player of the Year for the first time; an award he went on to win again in 2010 and 2011.
He was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2011 Indian Premier League and forged a successful and solid relationship with the franchise, winning titles in both 2012 and 2014.
A pivotal moment in the Club’s recent history was his appointment as Club Captain in 2016, which saw an immediate return to the County Championship’s top tier by winning the Division Two title.
The following season, he and his team defied all the odds and went unbeaten on their way to a first County Championship title in 25 years. Two years later, the team achieved the feat once again under his stewardship in a landmark double-winning campaign.
Despite stepping down as Club Captain at the end of 2019, ten Doeschate continued to play an instrumental role and was a huge factor in Essex claiming the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy in 2020.
On his retirement, ten Doeschate said:
“From the bottom of my heart I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved with Essex during my time at the Club. It’s been the greatest professional experience to grow in this environment, to watch the organisation and the individuals within it evolve and become something that I am extremely proud to have been a part of.
“The support that the team and myself personally have enjoyed has been phenomenal and is greatly appreciated. The staff, members, sponsors, and supporters have made Essex a fabulous place to play cricket. My professional career would not have been the same without some very special teammates, who I know will be lifelong friends.
“Your profession shouldn’t define you as a person, and I realise that cricket is just a sport and that Essex is just one cog in the wheel of county cricket, but I’m not ashamed to say that for 19 summers Essex has been my purpose and focus. We have all had varying degrees of satisfaction and peaks and troughs in form but I always had the drive of giving my all for Essex.
“Coming from Cape Town to be given a chance to pursue my dream seems a million moons ago. We’ve shared some remarkable times but for me, the biggest achievement has been making a home away from home. I have a collection of memories from Chelmsford to keep me happy long into retirement.”
Ryan spoke to Essex Cricket TV following the announcement to express his thoughts on the decision:
Club Captain and close friend, Tom Westley, added:
“It’s difficult to begin to put into words Tendo retiring. Not only have I had the honour of sharing a changing room with him for 15 years, but I’ve also had the privilege of changing next to him for 8 of them! To know that he won’t be playing for Essex again is a sad day for the club.
“I have always admired him, not only as a cricketer, who I believe has won more games for Essex than anyone else I have played with. It’s his values and qualities as a person, that means his name is alongside the greats of the club.
“I can assure you that I’m speaking on behalf of every player that has been fortunate enough to play with and share a changing room with Tendo. He has had a positive impact on all of us at some stage in his illustrious career. His selflessness as a teammate and leader is one of the leading factors to Essex’s success in the last decade.
“He epitomises what it means to play for this great club, and his name deserves to be alongside the likes of Fletcher, Gooch, Bailey and Insole.
“Thank you Ryan for everything you’ve done, I along with everyone will miss you. I wish you and your family all the best for the future.”