Peter Siddle has returned to Australia for personal reasons, cutting short his spell in county cricket with Essex.
The former Australia seamer, who was awarded his county cap last month, had been expected to play a full season at Chelmsford, after his 2020 deal was deferred by the Covid-19 pandemic. He will not be returning this summer but held out hopes of coming back in future.
"I'm sad to be leaving Chelmsford early as I love playing for Essex," he said. "I've got some great friends in the dressing room and they're a great bunch to be around and play cricket with. I've built some really strong bonds with the guys, so it's upsetting that I have to go home, but hopefully in the future I can come back and play some more cricket for this great club.
"I know I'm getting to the back end of my career, but I've still got some playing time left. We'll see what happens in the coming months and in the build-up to the 2022 season, but fingers crossed there's still a little bit more cricket to be played for Essex."
Siddle had played six games in the Championship, taking 20 wickets at 24.40, but defending champions Essex are currently in a fight to finish in the top two of their group and qualify for Division One later in the year.
Essex's head coach, Anthony McGrath, said: "Peter is a model professional so it's obviously disappointing that we're losing a player of his calibre. He's a great figure in the dressing room and a leader on the field. He's been amazing with the younger bowlers and has always offered support and advice, and when playing he's contributed with some important wickets.
"He's a fierce competitor and always gives it his all, but we wish him nothing but the best and hopefully we see him back at Chelmsford soon."