RYAN ten Doeschate has stepped down as club captain of Essex.

During his incredibly successful tenure, Essex have won three red-ball titles in four campaigns.

But ten Doeschate now feels the time is right for a change.

“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,” said ten Doeschate.

“I’ve had unquestionable support from all the people behind the scenes who make the club work and would like to specifically mention the members of the Cricket Advisory Group.

“I’d like to thank all our members and supporters in general who have followed the team over the last four years.

“I hope we’ve provided much entertainment and that you’ve shared in our pride of representing the club.

“I feel very lucky to have worked with Anthony McGrath and his staff and would also like to mention Chris Silverwood for all the help at the start of my tenure.”

And ten Doeschate - who will continue to play for the county - was also keen to thank his team-mates for their efforts.

“ I would like to pay tribute to an incredible bunch of players who have given everything to the team over the last four years and to whom I will always be indebted for allowing me to live out my cricket dream, thank you,” said ten Doeschate.

“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.

Ten Doeschate took on the role as captain prior to the 2016 season and immediately led the club back to Division One after claiming the Division Two title at the first attempt.

Essex then went unbeaten throughout their first season back in the top-tier of English cricket, winning 10 of their 14 games and claiming a first Championship title in 25 years.

In 2019, Essex once again tasted success in four-day cricket, with ten Doeschate skippering the club to an eighth Championship title following a ‘winner takes all’ match with Somerset in Taunton.

And Essex’s head coach coach Anthony McGrath was keen to pay tribute to the 39-year-old who has been with the club since 2003.

“Ryan has been a phenomenal club captain and as head coach I couldn’t have asked for any more from him,” said McGrath.

“His commitment and dedication to the club is second to none.

“If you look at the position Essex were in before he took over and compare it to where they are now, a lot of that rise is down to Ryan.

“Now is the right time for someone else to take the reins and lead the team.

“It’s important to remember that Ryan isn’t stepping away from Essex.

“He’s still very much part of this club.

“I’m sure he will continue to have a positive presence both on and off the field.”