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Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 09:39 UK

Fast bowler Steve Kirby set to leave Gloucestershire

Steve Kirby
Kirby took seven wickets on his debut for Yorkshire in 2001

Gloucestershire have agreed to let fast bowler Steve Kirby leave the club two years before the end of his contract.

The 32-year-old, who joined the county six seasons ago, still has ambitions to play in Division One of the County Championship and for his country.

"This decision has been arguably the biggest decision I've ever had to make," Kirby told BBC Gloucestershire.

"I've got three or four years left in my career and I would love to achieve my dream of playing for England."

Kirby added: "I had a benefit year next year which I'm very grateful to the club for offering to me, but the club's ambitions and my ambitions just weren't aligned any more.

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"People may think I'm at the end of my career with probably no chance of making it for England, I'll never ever give in on that dream.

"To do that I feel as though I've got to rip stumps out of the ground at a first division club and help a team win a championship, win some one-day trophies and at least at the end of my career I can have no regrets.

"It's a gamble. I want to play first division cricket, I want to play for a successful team, I don't know where that is at the moment, I can genuinely honestly tell you that."

"I don't play cricket solely and wholly for money and if it was I would have stayed at Gloucestershire and taken my benefit."

The Manchester-born bowler made his first-class debut for Yorkshire in 2001 and was part of their Championship-winning side that season.

During the last two years Kirby has been a regular in the England Lions squad.

Chief executive Tom Richardson added: "We are not going to stand in Steve's way now that he has expressed a wish to continue his career elsewhere.

"He has done very well for us over six seasons on the field and has made a big contribution."



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