England international Jos Buttler is to leave Somerset in a bid to boost his career as a wicketkeeper, the west country club announced on Friday.
The 23-year-old Buttler has played 19 one-day internationals for England but has yet to make his Test debut and was not selected in the Ashes squad announced on Monday, with Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow the back-up gloveman to Matt Prior.
Somerset-born Buttler's bid for more time behind the stumps at county level at Taunton has been blocked by fellow England international Craig Kieswetter.
It is now expected that Buttler will join Lancashire, who next season will play in the First Division of the County Championship.
"I am very sad to be leaving Somerset but feel it is a decision I must take in order to develop my expertise as a wicketkeeper," said Buttler.
Buttler impressed with both bat and gloves during England's recent one-day series against Australia, making 75 in a losing cause in the second ODI at Lancashire's Old Trafford headquarters in Manchester and a match-winning 65 not out in the fourth ODI in Cardiff.