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Ryan ten Doeschate played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL Image Credit: AFP

Netherlands all-rounder Ryan ten Doeschate has decided to retire from professional cricket at the end of 2021, his County club Essex have announced. The 41-year-old ten Doeschate has been included in the Netherlands squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE.

Making his international debut in 2006, ten Doeschate’s unbreakable association with Essex began in 2003, after impressing Graham Gooch during a preseason match in South Africa. In 19 years with the club, Ten Doeschate has made 554 appearances across all formats, scoring 17,046 runs and taking 348 wickets.

“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,” said ten Doeschate in a statement issued by Essex.

He has played 33 ODIs and 22 T20s for the Netherlands. He was his team’s second-highest scorer in defending their title at the T20 World Cup qualifiers in 2019. His first piece of silverware came in 2005, with the Eagles capturing the County League. The side successfully defended their title in 2006, while 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 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.

“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,” Ten Doeschate said.

He played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League from 2011 to 2015 and was a member of the trophy-winning teams in 2012 and 2014. Overall, Ten Doeschate played 29 matches for KKR, scoring 326 runs at an average of 23.28 and picked two wickets. His appointment as Essex captain in 2016 saw an immediate return of the club to the County Championship’s top tier by winning the Division Two title.

“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.”

The following season, Essex won their first County Championship title in 25 years and, two years later, the team achieved the feat once again under him in completing the County Championship-T20 Blast double. Though Ten Doeschate stepped down as Essex skipper at the end of the 2019 season, he continued to play and was instrumental in Essex winning the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy in 2020.

“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.”