Hampshire have signed South African batsman Hashim Amla as an overseas player for the 2018 season.
Amla will be a part of the squad for the first three months of the season with him set to play in both the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup, before departing to join his national team in Sri Lanka in July.
The 34-year-old is the club’s first overseas signing and their second new face this winter, after the arrival of Sam Northeast earlier this month.
“I am really pleased to be joining a club like Hampshire,” he told the Hampshire website.
“Everyone I have spoken to, who have either played or are currently playing there, have only had good things to say about the team.
“I look forward to spending the first three months of the season with them, which works out well for me to be able to get some high-quality cricket in before the Proteas tour to Sri Lanka in July.”
Amla made his international debut in 2004 and has since amassed over 16,000 runs in both Test and ODI cricket, racking up 54 centuries. He is the only South African to score a triple-century in Test cricket, a career-best 311* at The Oval against England in 2012.
This is his fifth stint in county cricket, after appearing for Essex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Derbyshire for a season each, scoring a total of four Championship hundreds.
Hampshire’s director of cricket, Giles White, said: “Hashim is an exciting acquisition for us and we feel he’ll be an excellent fit within the group we’ve got, both on and off the pitch.
“He’s a world-class player and this addition adds strength and depth to our batting for the first three months of the season – runs on the board are important and hopefully this will help us achieve that consistently in both the four-day and 50-over competitions. We’re looking forward to welcoming Hashim and his family to the club.”
Hampshire’s first Championship fixture is against Worcestershire on Friday 13th April.