Durham have released fast bowler Luke Evans in the hope he can find first-team cricket elsewhere.

Evans had been recalled to the North East from a spell on loan to Northamptonshire at the beginning of the 2010 season but a lack of first-team opportunities means he is set again to leave the county.

Evans, 23, is a product of the Durham Academy and made his first-class debut against Sri Lanka A in 2007 and was offered a professional contract in 2008. Last season he played just a single game for Durham after picking up five wickets in two games for Northants.

Though reluctant to leave, Evans is keen on the opportunity of finding a club to play regular first-team cricket. "Obviously I'm sad to be leaving the club where I've grown up and developed as a player but if I'm going to continue to progress I need to be playing regular first-class cricket and I'm currently considering options where there may be more opportunities," he said.

"I would like to thank all the coaching and playing staff for their help and advice over the years and of course, to the Durham members who always showed their support. To everyone, on and off the field, I offer the best of wishes for the future."

Durham coach, Geoff Cook, said that it was only the depth of Durham's fast-bowling reserves - which includes Liam Plunkett, Steve Harmison, Mark Davies and Graham Onions - that held Evans back.

"Luke really benefited from a short loan spell during the season, it gave him a real chance to showcase his talent as well as a real hunger to play first -team cricket," he said. "The depth of our bowling attack has meant that he hasn't had the chance to play for us a great deal in the four day game. I'd like to thank Luke for his contribution and dedication to Durham and wish him all the best."