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Cachopa toys with a New Zealand future

Craig Cachopa has agreed an early release from Sussex Getty Images

Craig Cachopa will consider whether to go full circle and qualify for New Zealand after negotiating an early release from his contract at Sussex for what the club called "personal reasons".

Cachopa was enticed to England in 2014 by Luke Wright, now Sussex's captain, when he was playing in New Zealand. He was born in South Africa but qualifies as a non-overseas signing in England as he holds a Portuguese passport.

After three seasons in county cricket, however, in which his success has been modest, he could chose to explore links with New Zealand, where he was a former U-19 national captain.

Cachopa, 24, said: "I am grateful for the fantastic opportunity I have had over the past three years here at Sussex, however I think it is a good time for me to return to New Zealand to try and achieve some of my childhood dreams after some much needed rest."

"I love county cricket and it has been a fabulous experience for me representing Sussex in all three formats. But I intend to spend some quality time with my family at home in New Zealand resting before considering my options, and deciding on my next steps towards achieving my aspirations to play international cricket."

Cachopa made his Sussex debut in the NatWest T20 Blast in 2014. He played 16 Championship matches for Sussex, and 43 white-ball matches, across the NatWest T20 Blast and the Royal London One-Day Cup. A powerful middle-order hitter, the T20 Blast was his strongest format for Sussex, as he averaged 27.18 with a strike rate of 136.79, and was also deployed as a wicketkeeper in a number of the Sharks' T20 matches.

Sussex's head coach Mark Davis said, "I am sure Craig has enjoyed his time at Sussex and would have learnt a great deal about himself as well as his game. He is an immensely talented cricketer who has yet to reach his potential. We wish him great success in whatever he decides to pursue in the future."

Cachopa spent the England off-season last winter in New Zealand, representing Wellington as an overseas player. It was a return to his first-class roots: he made his debut for Wellington in 2012 before moving to Auckland.