"I have been very fortunate to have had the chance to play cricket for Warwickshire over the last three years," he said. "Whilst I had been offered a contract for next season, I have decided that the time is now right for me to begin a new career in business. I would like to thank all the people at the club and the supporters, for the three very enjoyable years I have spent with the Bears . I will continue to closely support the club and wish the boys every success for the next season and beyond."
Loudon, 27, who played one ODI for England last summer, was offered a new contract from Warwickshire but asked for time to consider his future. He returned from a holiday in Ireland and confirmed his decision with Ashley Giles, Warwickshire's new director of cricket.
Two years ago Loudon - who also represented Kent - was picked for England's tour of Pakistan, where he was hailed as England's elusive "mystery spinner" after bowling Marcus Trescothick with a doosra in the nets at Rawalpindi, but did not get a game. He subsequently did duty with England A in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. In 2006 he struggled for form, and while he showed slight improvement last season he was not anywhere near back to his best.
"Alex is a talented player but has always balanced his life as a professional cricketer with a good mix of outside interests," said Giles. "We have to respect his decision to turn his efforts to another field. Alex knows he will always be welcome back at Edgbaston and I wish him all the best for a successful future outside the game."