Matt Coles leaves Kent for county champions Essex

The 27-year-old, who returned to Canterbury in March 2015 following a disappointing spell at Hampshire, has joined Chris Silverwood's side on a two-year deal.

Coles told Essex's official website: "It is with a heavy heart that I leave Kent. It's been my home and family for most of my life and career.

"But I have a great opportunity to move and play Division One cricket with the county champions. It feels right, and I want to push myself to be as good as I can be. Essex's vision for the future is really exciting and I'm looking forward to playing a significant part."

Silverwood added: "It is important that we continue to improve the squad and not rest on our laurels. We feel Matt offers excellent attributes with both his batting and bowling across all formats.

"He will strengthen competition in red-ball cricket but also offer destructive batting and bowling in white-ball cricket so it is an excellent signing for the club."

  Matt Coles has left Kent
Matt Coles has left Kent