DateLine: 8th May 2009
James Foster was earmarked early on as an England wicketkeeper in the making. After just four first-class matches for Essex he was selected for the England A tour of West Indies in 2000-01. His chance came on the 2001-02 one-day tour of Zimbabwe, where he made his debut at Harare, before earning a spot on the trip to India after Stewart opted out. He made a nervous start at Mohali, but became more assured during the tour and impressed with some determined innings. He retained his place for the tour of New Zealand after Christmas, but was ousted from the one-day squad when England searched for greater balance by using Marcus Trescothick. He unfortunately broke his arm during nets with Essex, allowing Alec Stewart to slot back into the team. Though Foster performed consistently in county cricket there was no way back in the summer of 2002, but he'd done enough to be the reserve keep on the Ashes tour that winter. He won one more Test cap, at Melbourne, when Stewart injured his arm, but was fighting a losing battle as England attempted to field five bowlers. When Stewart retired at the end of the 2003 season Andrew Flintoff's emergence had opened the way for a keeper at No. 7 - but it was Chris Read, not Foster, who got the nod. Since them, Geraint Jones has claimed the gloves and latterly Matt Prior. He was promoted to vice-captain during the 2007 season and impressed with both his batting and keeping in 2008 - in particular his standing up to the stumps, which was one of the decisive factors of his call-up to England's Twenty20 squad in 2009.
View all Current Events CLICK HERE