Essex have announced that batsman Gautam Gambhir has flown home to India for "family reasons".
The opener scored a century on his second County Championship appearance of the season in the draw against Gloucestershire before heading home at the weekend.
Essex did not reveal details of the reasons behind his departure, but they remain hopeful he will be able to return before the end of the domestic season.
A short statement on the Essex website read: "Gautam Gambhir returned to his native India on Sunday for family reasons.
"At this stage Essex Cricket and Gautam are unable to make any further comment.
"Essex Cricket is fully supportive of Gautam and very much hope that he will return to Essex before the end of the 2013 English domestic season."