Kent captain Sam Billings has been signed by Chennai Super Kings to play in the Indian Premier League.
The 26-year-old will play in the sport’s biggest T20 competition for the third successive season.
He was one of nine county players to be recruited at the auction this weekend.
Ben Stokes and Mark Wood (Durham), Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan (Sussex), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Moeen Ali (Worcs), Jason Roy (Surrey), Chris Woakes (Warks) will also be unavailable for the start of the Specsavers County Championship with counties compensated for the loss of players on IPL duty.
After two tournaments with the Delhi Daredevils, Billings will head to South India to play alongside England team-mate Mark Wood, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina (India), Shane Watson (Australia), Mitch Santner (New Zealand), Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ndidi and Imran Tahir (South Africa).
The two-time champions’ head coach is former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming with ex-Australia batsman Mike Hussey as batting coach.