Markram joins Hampshire as overseas replacement for Karunaratne

Markram joins Hampshire as overseas replacement for Karunaratne

Aiden Markram has joined Hampshire (Pic by Bradley Adams)

Hampshire have signed Aiden Markram as an overseas player for the first month of the season.

The South African replaces Dimuth Karunaratne, the Sri Lankan batsman who the club signed last month.

Markram, 24, will be available in time for the start of the Specsavers County Championship season next Friday. Hampshire begin their campaign at home to Essex.

He is set to feature in both the Championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup until early May, after which his involvement will be determined by potential selection for South Africa’s World Cup squad.

“I’m very excited to be joining Hampshire for the start of their season,” Markram said. “Hampshire have a great squad and I’m looking forward to working with the coaching staff and contributing to the goals of the team.

“The Ageas Bowl and its facilities are brilliant and I have always wanted to go back after touring there with South Africa A so I am grateful for the opportunity.”

Markram played three Championship matches for Durham last season, scoring three ducks in his first three innings before hitting 94 against Leicestershire.

Last year, he became the second youngest player ever to captain South Africa in ODI cricket. He currently has four Test hundreds at an average of 43.80.

Karunaratne was expected to feature in the first half of the season but reports subsequently surfaced that he could be in line to captain his country at this summer’s World Cup.

The 30-year-old has not played an ODI for nearly four years but has been asked to remain in Sri Lanka throughout April to play the provincial one-day tournament. Hampshire announced on Thursday that he would no longer be joining the club.

However, Hampshire confirmed on Friday that there would be an opportunity for the Sri Lankan to replace Markram should his playing commitments allow.

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