Essex Cricket has given James Foster permission to explore contract options with Hampshire County Cricket Club after they made a formal approach for him.
Foster was made county captain of Essex in June 2010 for all forms of the game, when Mark Pettini stepped down due to poor form with the bat.
David East, Essex Cricket Chief Executive said “We have offered James an extended contract and very much want him to carry on playing for us in the future”.
“He has been with Essex for his entire professional career and it would be hugely disappointing if he was to leave at this time.”
Paul Grayson, Essex Cricket Head Coach further added, “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 clearly do not want to lose his services and want him to remain with us until the end of his career, but the decision is now for him to make.”
Foster played seven Tests and 11 one-day internationals between 2001 and 2002.
He was recalled by England for the World Twenty20 tournament in 2009, but has not played for his country since then.