Tom Mees has terminated his contract with Warwickshire after conceding defeat to a serious ankle injury.
The 24-year-old fast bowler was out of contract at the end of September, anyway, but has taken the unusual decision to leave the Bears early rather than merely sitting on the sidelines and accepting his pay-cheques.
Mees will undergo an operation shortly and does retain hopes of returning to cricket. His selfless action is sure to be viewed favourably at Edgbaston and, if he is able to achieve full fitness, a return to the club cannot be entirely ruled out.
Such an outcome is unlikely, however. His troublesome ankle has required surgery once before and the fear is that this will a sad ending to a professional career that promised much.
Mees has struggled for form and fitness throughout the season but has shown glimpses of real talent. He enjoyed a marvellous first-class debut for Oxford UCCE against Middlesex in 2001, taking six for 64, and appeared to have an exciting future.
He has been limited to a single first-team appearance for Warwickshire however, against Cambridge UCCE earlier this season, and has struggled to make an impression in the second XI.
Warwickshire captain Nick Knight said: "Tom has done an honourable thing and this may not be the end of his career. With lots of hard work he will give himself the best chance of getting back into the game. I wish him good luck for his future."
Mees' injury may necessitate a change of thinking over the fitness regime of young bowlers at the club. He becomes the third of the five young bowlers sent to winter in Perth to subsequently break down with a serious injury.
Naqaash Tahir and Adam Shantry have also been ruled out for extended periods while the club's problems have been exasperated by the absence of Nick Warren, who is also out for about a month after breaking a finger in the Twenty20 Cup defeat at Northamptonshire.
Meanwhile, a 13- man squad has been named for Friday's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy quarterfinal against Kent at Edgbaston. Dougie Brown and Ashley Giles return from international duty with Scotland and England respectively while Tony Frost has recovered from his bruised hands.
The full-strength hand could result in some tricky final selections. Dewald Pretorius and James Anyon appear to be in competition for one place while one batsman out of Alex Loudon, Jim Troughton, Jonathan Trott and Trevor Penney will also have to make way. Frost will keep wicket.
Warwickshire's Seconds play Somerset in Taunton today in their penultimate Second XI Trophy group match. Warwickshire top their group and will be sure of reaching the semi-finals if they win their remaining matches.