Wheater, 32, made his first-class debut for Essex in 2008, and spent four seasons with Hampshire from 2013 to 2016, before returning to Chelmsford to play a pivotal role in the club’s run of red-ball success in recent seasons.
After rejoining the club on a loan spell in 2016, Wheater played key roles in Essex’s two Championship wins in 2017 and 2019 – the former being their first title in 25 years, and the latter forming part of an unprecedented Championship and T20 Blast double.
His form carried through into the Covid-interrupted 2020 season, as he averaged 58.20 to help Essex win the inaugural Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s. Across all formats, he has made 380 appearances in his career, scoring 10,876 runs while taking 386 catches and 64 stumpings.
“It’s been a tough call to make, but the timing feels right and I’m pleased to be going out on my own terms,” Wheater said. “I’ve had a great time at both Essex and Hampshire. Not many players get the opportunity to play for their boyhood club, so to be able to do that has been a dream, and to be able to win the things we’ve won, I couldn’t have asked for more.
“I’m looking forward to whatever comes next, but until then I’m fully committed to helping Anthony McGrath and this side secure more silverware.
“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the Members, fans, players, staff and everyone associated with the club for their support over the years. It’s been a great journey and I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have.”
Essex Cricket Chief Executive and Interim Chair, John Stephenson, added: “I would like to thank Adam for his contribution to Essex County Cricket Club over his two spells with the club.
“He’s been an excellent performer for this side and has been a big factor in the success we’ve enjoyed over the last six years.”