Amla arrives to boost Hants

01 March 2018 02:00:43 EST

Veteran South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has signed for Hampshire as their overseas player for the beginning of the 2018 County Championship season.

The 34-year-old's recruitment, however, suggests that Australian George Bailey - who led the club in four-day cricket in 2017 - will not return for the second year of his two-year deal.

Proteas ace Amla will play in both County Championship Division One and Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures in the first three months of the 2018 campaign, before joining his country's tour of Sri Lanka in July.

Of the 320-cap international star - the first South African to score a triple century in Test cricket when he reached a career-best 311* against England at the Oval six years ago - Hampshire 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."

Former Proteas captain Amla added: "I am really pleased to be joining a club like Hampshire. Everyone I have spoken to, who have either played or are currently playing there, have only had good things to say about the team."

Meanwhile, England are 7/2 to win the 2019 World Cup on home soil, while they can be backed at 5/1 to triumph at the 2020 World Twenty20.

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