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Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Wednesday, 29 September 2010 17:01 UK

Fast bowler Anthony Ireland to depart Gloucestershire

Anthony Ireland
Zimbabwe international Ireland joined Gloucestershire in 2007

Gloucestershire fast bowler Anthony Ireland looks set to leave the county for Middlesex after formally turning down a new contract offer.

The 26-year-old Zimbabwean will become a free agent as of 1 October.

The club have confirmed they are still negotiating with batsman William Porterfield, paceman Gemaal Hussain and spinner Vikram Banerjee.

Chief executive Tom Richardson said: "We're keen to keep our best players but we won't get into an auction."

Meanwhile, Chris Dent has signed a three-year contract with the club.

The England Under-19 batsman, who is off to Australia to play club cricket in Perth for the winter, said: "I really enjoyed the season and hopefully I will come back from Australia fitter, stronger and ready to make more runs next summer."

Gloucestershire director of cricket John Bracewell added: "With the right ambition, his talents will be of value, not only to Gloucestershire, but to England in years to come."

A decision on the futures of Porterfield, Hussain and Banerjee are expected by Thursday.

They have already lost Steve Kirby, who has moved to Somerset to play Division One cricket.

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Hussain, 26, had an impressive season for Gloucestershire in County Championship Division Two.

He took 67 wickets at 22.34 but has also refused to sign a new contract at the club to date.

"I'm hopeful [on keeping him] because he's not a finished product," said Bracewell.

"Our conditioning staff have put together a magnificent programme for him.

"Gemaal's been a dedicated student to that so we'd be disappointed if we could not finish the project."



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