Tendo excited for the challenges that await


Ryan ten Doeschate enjoyed an excellent first tenure as Specsavers County Championship Captain, leading his team to a Division Two title success.

Division One now awaits and preparations have been underway for months to get the squad ready for the 2017 campaign.

The Dutch international has played a key part in those discussions, alongside Head Coach Chris Silverwood, Chief Executive Derek Bowden, Club Chairman John Faragher and Chairman of the Cricket Advisory Group Ronnie Irani.

Ten Doeschate is now keen to move forward from last year’s success and said: “The back end of 2016 was brilliant, we have all had time to sit back and reflect on what we have achieved but now another challenge awaits and it is all about hitting that head on.

“The 2017 campaign is our only focus now and we have to make sure we are well enough prepared to meet what is in front of us.”

It is well documented that Ravi Bopara stepped down from the limited-overs captaincy to see Club Captain ten Doeschate take the reigns in all formats but the 36-year-old is not daunted by the task ahead of him, it is quite the opposite in fact.

He added: “Taking over the one-day captaincy isn’t particularly a new challenge as I have done it before but hopefully I can continue the success we enjoyed last year in all formats. I was delighted with the way the squad worked last year when I was in charge and I didn’t really feel a burden of responsibility with the captaincy. I think that is maybe the style I am trying to implement; I don’t want anyone to feel burdened when they come to play for Essex.

“We put plans into place and train our hardest and you can’t ask for much more than that from the players. My role is to do my homework, find out what gets the best out of the group and work extremely hard. That is how I am going to face captaining all forms and hopefully our success continues.”

The 2016 Batsman of the Year is also keen to give Bopara the platform to return to his best in all facets of his game and acknowledged: “I think the biggest thing is giving Ravi the freedom to focus on his cricket and express himself. He is arguably one of the best players on the staff when he is firing on all cylinders and will be a big part of the side in all formats during 2017.”

Once again it will be vital to start the season well and with the potential presence of Alastair Cook, ten Doeschate’s side have the opportunity to build on the momentum created in all competitions during 2016.

He concluded: “I think last season showed how important it is to hit the ground running. There are some very good teams in Division One but we are a good team as well and go into the season full of confidence after a promotion. We are working hard now to make sure we are ready, and believe me, we will be.”