Essex captain is in talks about Hampshire move

Jonny Bairstow, right, thanks skipper Eoin Morgan. Picture: Neil Marshall

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ESSEX captain James Foster has been given permission to discuss a move to Hampshire.

The former England wicketkeeper, 31, is in the final year of his contract and Hampshire have made a formal move to sign him at the expiry of that deal.

Essex coach Paul Grayson said: ‘We want him to stay but we have given Hampshire an early opportunity to speak with James so we can understand as soon as possible where we are with this. We see him as an integral part of our club and strongly feel we have made him a good offer to remain at Essex. We want him to remain with us until the end of his career, but the decision is now for him to make.’

Foster is in his benefit year with Essex but a turbulent season saw him banned for two Friends Life games in July after a spate of disciplinary problems at the club – culminating in Foster himself being handed three penalty points by the ECB for a show of dissent having been dismissed by a high full toss from Surrey’s Zander de Bruyn.

Tonight Lancashire became the last team to book their place at FL t20 finals day with a 20-run win over Sussex at Hove. Lancashire notched up 152-8 and will join Leicestershire, Somerset and Hampshire at finals day, which is at Edgbaston on Saturday, August 27.