GLOUCESTERSHIRE have announced that batsman Grant Hodnett and leg-spinner Matt Gitsham will leave the club at the end of the season.
The 27-year-olds have been deemed surplus to requirements by director of cricket John Bracewell and will not have their contacts renewed.
For Hodnett the news is a particular blow, having battled back from depression last winter he had high hopes of fulfilling his undoubted talent at Nevil Road.
A prolific scorer for Cheltenham in the West of England Premier League, he enjoyed a run in Jon Lewis' four-day team in 2007 and began the following campaign as first choice at the top of the order.
But he soon lost his place, after which he admitted to the club he had been suffering from a stress-related illness similar to that of Somerset's ex-England man Marcus Trescothick.
He sought help from sports psychologist Brian Copley, the same man who treated Trescothick, and returned for the start of this season determined to get his career back on track.
However, he has made only fleeting first-team appearances and did not help his cause with some ill-advised comments in a radio interview in June.
Speaking after hitting 60 in a Twenty20 Cup win at Northampton, Hodnett claimed he felt 'under-used' by Gloucestershire and criticised forthcoming opponents Somerset.
He has not played since, and he feels that outburst played a major part in Bracewell's decision.
"I was pumped up after putting a world class attack to the sword and chose to speak my mind," said Hodnett.
"In my whole life I've not necessarily done things by the book and obviously what I said didn't go down well with certain people.
"I don't regret it, even though it probably had a bearing on the club's decision."
Although other counties have already expressed an interest in Hodnett via his agent, he could not hide his disappointment at being released yesterday.
"I'm pretty shocked and speechless, even though I had seen this coming for a month or so," he said.
"I feel like my dream has been shattered and I'm very heartsore, but I'll just have to come to terms with it and move on.
"My record isn't bad and I know guys like Marcus North and Mark Alleyne rate me very highly. I still feel I've got a lot to offer someone at this level."
Cornishman Gitsham (pictured) played four first-class matches in 2008 and has not featured for the first team at all this term.
A Gloucestershire spokes- man said: "We feel that Grant Hodnett and Matthew Gitsham still have plenty of cricket in them, but they have not had many opportunities this year and we see this as unlikely to change in the future.
"We thank them both for their efforts for the club. We are looking to go through a regeneration process over the next couple of years."