Matt Critchley has turned down the offer of a new Derbyshire contract
Derbyshire offered Critchley, who still had a year to run on his current contract, an extension which surpassed the offer from the 2020 County Champions, but the all-rounder cited a wish to play first division cricket next summer as his reason for departing the Club.
Essex activated a clause within Critchley’s agreement, which enabled the 25-year-old to move to a Division One county, in return for an undisclosed fee, and he leaves Derbyshire after scoring 4,711 runs and taking 198 wickets.
Chairman, Ian Morgan OBE, said: “We’re disappointed to be losing Matt after seeing him develop greatly with the Club over the past seven seasons.
“We were quick to better any offer from another county, however we understand his desire to test himself in Division One and he leaves with our best wishes for the future.
“As a Club, we moved to ensure we would be well-compensated for his departure, and we will be using that money to strengthen the first team under a new Head of Cricket.”
Critchley added: “This was a difficult decision to make and one which comes down to being able to play Division One cricket next season.
“I’m at the stage in my career now where I want to be challenging for international recognition and I believe this move is a step towards that right now and the chance to test my skills in the first division.
“I’ll always be grateful to Derbyshire for the opportunities the Club has given me, to the Members for their support and to the coaches and players for some great memories, but the time is right for me to move on and take on a new challenge.”