Hampshire have released Chris Benham, the middle-order batsman, who has been involved with the club since he was 10.

Benham, 27, was regarded as having a bright future in the game after he struck 158 in the 2006 Pro40 play-off but struggled to cement a permanent place in the first team. During the 2010 season he played six Championship matches and scored 268 runs at 24.36.

Despite the setback to his career, Benham is keen to find a new county. "Personally, I still have a huge desire to play cricket at the highest level," he said. "I see playing in a new environment with different ideas as a very exciting prospect."

The Hampshire manager Giles White added: "As the squad has strengthened opportunities for Chris have become limited. However, he has a good feel for the game and has never given anything but 100% for the Hampshire cause, and I would like to thank him for his input."