Yorkshire have released Jacques Rudolph from the final year of his contract, paving the way for a possible return to the South Africa line-up. The county have said that family reasons are behind Rudolph's desire to return home, but it is known that he has been contacted about making a comeback to the international stage.

Rudolph joined Yorkshire as Kolpak player in 2007 - meaning he didn't count as an overseas cricketer - and passed 1000 Championship runs in each of his four seasons including 1375 runs in the recently completed 2010 campaign. In total he scored 8629 runs for Yorkshire in all competitions and his consistent form hasn't been lost on the South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl. "We are aware that he has excelled in England over the past few years," he told Sport24.co.za.

"Whilst Jacques has thoroughly enjoyed his time with Yorkshire, he and his wife Elna have found it difficult adjusting to life in England," said a Yorkshire statement. "Jacques has spent each winter with his family in South Africa and whilst his wife Elna moved to Leeds in an attempt to find suitable employment as a doctor, nevertheless this has not worked out as they both would have liked.

"They are both very keen to start a family and, with an unsettled lifestyle, felt it was impossible to put down roots and make plans for the future. As such, they formally requested to be released from the final year of Jacques's contract and the board of directors have granted this wish."

Rudolph played the last of his 35 Tests in August 2006 against Sri Lanka, in Colombo, and has scored 2028 runs at 36.21 after launching his career with an unbeaten 222 on debut against Bangladesh in 2003.