Former captain Mark Pettini has signed a contract extension with Essex through to the end of the 2012 season.
Pettini, 26, made his debut in 2001 and captained the county for almost three years from mid-2007 before standing down recently to allow James Foster to take the helm.
The middle-order batsman had found runs hard to come by this season and was keen to concentrate on his own form.
"I am obviously delighted to have signed an extension with the club," Pettini told the county's official website.
"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time so far with Essex and the success that we have all achieved.
"I look forward to the next two years, we have a very strong dressing room and we are confident that we can achieve even more success in the coming seasons."
Pettini averages 34.87, including five centuries, in 88 first-class appearances.