Northamptonshire have confirmed that Jack Brooks, the pace bowler, has been allowed to utilise a get-out clause in his contract to further his international ambitions.

Brooks, who made a late start to his professional career having come through Minor County cricket, played for England Lions against the West Indians this season on his home ground. In the Championship he took 23 wickets at 35.69 in a campaign disrupted by injury and overall has 118 first-class wickets at 28.95

"I've taken this decision to leave Northants because I want to compete at the highest level possible," Brooks said. "The opportunities being offered to me are too good to turn down, and I owe it to myself to explore all avenues as I continue my quest for international honours."

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Northants and fully appreciate the support I've been given by all at the club. Hopefully, I'll be remembered for my performances and wholehearted approach to the game."

Head coach David Ripley said: "I am saddened by Jack's departure, we will miss him both on the field and in the dressing room as he is a real character. He is striving for international honours and domestic trophies, which I believe are both achievable here, but I fully understand and respect his decision to leave. We wish Jack all the best in his future."

David Smith, the chief executive, added that this was a situation clubs are becoming used to these days. "Jack leaving us is a reflection of our more mobile cricket society and of more flexible employment laws that allow players to move between county cricket clubs on a more regular basis than in the past.

"The club wants to place on record its appreciation of Jack's service over the past four years and wish him all the very best for the future. Jack has been a very popular member of our dressing room."