Former New Zealand international Iain O'Brien could be set to leave county cricket after his appeal against the decision to deny him local status in England failed.
The pace bowler played for Middlesex as an overseas player last season but had hoped to become a qualified player for 2011 as he is married to an English woman.
It was O'Brien's only hope of being able to stay at Lord's as Australian batsman Chris Rogers takes the allocated overseas spot for next year.
But the England and Wales Cricket Board refused the request and on Friday an independent panel upheld the decision after the appeal
The 34-year-old could only continue to play in England if another county is willing to take him on as their overseas player.
"Appeal turned down. Tough day now. Not sure what happens now, time for me to regroup and have a think," O'Brien stated on his Twitter feed.
An ECB statement read: "ECB today confirmed that the decision of the ECB Board to refuse the application made by Middlesex County Cricket Club to register Iain O'Brien as a qualified cricketer was upheld by an independent appeal panel.
"Any application for Mr O'Brien to be registered as an unqualified cricketer is unaffected by this decision."