All-rounder Kirk Wernars has left Sussex to return home to South Africa where he is considering becoming a firefighter.
Wernars, who joined Sussex in 2011, signed a new deal in November which would have kept him at Hove until 2014.
But the 21-year-old has decided he wants to be near his family in Cape Town and is taking a year off cricket to look into other job possibilities.
Wernars, showed plenty of promise at Sussex, averaging 27.33 with the bat and taking 12 wickets at 22.83 in his eight first-class matches.
"This hasn't been an overnight decision and has been a very tough one to make. The past two years have been fantastic for me, as a person and a cricketer," he said.
"As much as playing cricket for Sussex has been an exciting and happy time for me, there have been parts of my life I have missed, namely being with my family and living in Cape Town.
"I believe I need to take a break from cricket for a year, during which time I wish to explore wildfire fighting and emergency services.
"Thereafter I hope to be in a position to have greater clarity about the long-term career I would like to pursue."
Sussex's coach Mark Robinson said: "We're really disappointed to lose Kirk both as a cricketer and as a person.
"As a cricketer, he really made great strides and had every chance of having a really successful summer. And as a person, he was a man of high values and high loyalty.
"We do though really respect his decision to want to be nearer his family again and we wish him every success, and hope perhaps to see him at some time in the future."