Gloucestershire release Mark Alleyne

Gloucestershire's coach, Mark Alleyne, will leave the club in February, prior to his contract ending in September 2008, after the club decided it was time for a shake-up in their structure.

John Light, the chairman of Gloucestershire, said: "We have come to this agreement after much deliberation. We feel that it is now time for change and time to move towards a new director of cricket. I would like publicly to thank Mark Alleyne for his massive contribution which has been greatly appreciated by everyone associated with the club. We wish him every success in the future."

Alleyne joined Gloucestershire as a 22-year-old in 1986, and went on to fill the club's allrounder slot with great skill and aplomb. In 1999, his efforts were recognised when he was selected for his maiden ODI against Australia at Brisbane, and he went on to make 151 runs and take 10 wickets in 10 England appearances.

It was at club level, however, that Alleyne really made his mark. He became the most successful captain in the Gloucestershire's history. Between 1997 and 2005, the team won eight one-day trophies, including three successive Lord's finals and the treble in 2000. Alleyne became player coach in 2004, then moved up to head coach upon his retirement in 2005.

"I reminisce with absolute pride about the last 22 years of my life," said Alleyne. "All spent serving Gloucestershire CCC in the best way I knew how and now it comes to an end. Exciting memories from my very first ball at the Winget Ground in Gloucester to the very last ball in 2007. Every single ball will stay with me forever and I would like to thank Gloucestershire for allowing me that wonderful opportunity.

"The time was made special by the tremendous support I received from the members and supporters alike," said Alleyne. "For that I thank you all very much, but nothing will compare with the friendships and comradeship that developed with the players and coaches over the years. Those special moments made it all so worthwhile and now I look forward to embarking on something new. For Gloucestershire, I wish them the best of luck in their new direction."