Hampshire have released Adam Wheater from his contract – allowing the wicketkeeper-batsman to join Essex.
The 26-year old, who joined Hampshire from Essex in 2013, returns to his former side on a two-year deal.
It was originally announced that Wheater would join Essex on loan for the remainder of this year’s Specsavers County Championship.
But the right-hander will now remain with Essex following the conclusion of the 2016 season.
Hampshire director of cricket, Giles White, said: ‘Adam felt that his future was elsewhere, and if a player would like to leave we will not stand in their way.
‘The club would like to thank Adam for his contributions during his time with us and we wish him well moving forward.’
Wheater said: ‘I’d like to thank Hampshire for their understanding of moving to Essex and wish them every success in the future.’
The player scored more than 4,000 runs at an average of 30.91 in 133 appearances during his time with Hampshire, while also claiming 145 dismissals behind the stumps.
He particularly impressed with the bat in this year’s red-ball campaign, scoring 850 runs at an average of more than 47, including a career-best 204 not-out against Warwickshire in the County Championship in July.