Gautam Gambhir has returned to India for family reasons, Essex have confirmed.
Having joined the Chelmsford club last month for the remainder of the domestic season, Gambhir struck his first Essex century in last week’s drawn LV= County Championship match with Gloucestershire at Bristol.
However, it is now unclear whether the left-handed opener, who boasts 54 Test caps, will represent the club again this summer.
An Essex statement read: 'Gautam Gambhir returned to his native India on Sunday for family reasons. At this stage Essex Cricket and Gautam are unable to make any further comment.
'Essex Cricket is fully supportive of Gautam and very much hope that he will return to Essex before the end of the 2013 English domestic season.'