Tom Westley: Essex batsman succeeds Ryan ten Doeschate as skipper

Tom Westley
Tom Westley contributed 794 runs at an average of 36.09 to Essex's 2019 County Championship win

Batsman Tom Westley has been named as the new captain of county champions Essex, succeeding Ryan ten Doeschate.

The 30-year-old, who played five Tests for England in 2017, will lead the side in the Championship and One-Day Cup.

Ten Doeschate, 39, had been in charge since 2016 and led the team to the title in two of the past three seasons.

"It's a huge honour to captain a county like Essex, with all the success they've had over the years, it's a very special feeling," Westley said.

He told BBC Essex: "I'm close to Tendo as a friend. I've played with him for so many years now. He's wished me well and wants me to do the best I can.

"They are huge shoes to fill, not because of the success we've had as a team but also because of the leader that Tendo is. He's a fantastic leader and I've learnt a lot off him."

Simon Harmer will continue as skipper in the T20 Blast after they won the trophy for the first time in 2019, beating Worcestershire in the final.

Westley made his first-class debut for Essex while still a teenager and has scored 10,046 runs, including 21 centuries, plus 4,827 in limited-overs cricket.

He was given his chance by England three years ago, but an innings of 59 at The Oval against South Africa was his highest Test score.

'It's been the biggest privilege'

Ryan ten Doeschate
Essex's County Championship title win last summer was the eighth in the club's history

All-rounder ten Doeschate stepped down from the role earlier on Tuesday but will remain with the club as a player after signing a new one-year contract last October.

"It's been the biggest privilege to captain this club for the last four years and now is the right time for someone new to take charge," ten Doeschate said.

In an open letter published on the club website, he added: "I can't wait to join the troops, focus on my batting, and to give the new captain all of my support in continuing to try to get the best out of our great club."

Under Netherlands international ten Doeschate, Essex went unbeaten in 2017 on their way to a first Championship title in 25 years.

"If you look where Essex were before he took over and compare it to where they are now, a lot of that rise is down to Ryan," said head coach Anthony McGrath.

"Now is the right time for someone else to take the reigns and lead the team."

Ten Doeschate was named Championship captain in 2016, leading the side to promotion in his first season before winning Division One titles in 2017 and 2019.

He was appointed white-ball skipper in 2014, captaining the club in both short formats for four of the following five campaigns, before being replaced by Harmer in the T20 Blast last season.

Essex chairman John Faragher said: "During his time as club captain Ryan has shown outstanding leadership and interpersonal skills, both of which have been a major factor in the club's success over the last four years."