South Africa star Amla signs for Hampshire

Hampshire have pulled off a coup for the opening three months of the County Championship by signing South Africa star Hashim Amla.

South Africa's Hashim Amla   -  Getty Images

South Africa batsman Hashim Amla has agreed a deal with Hampshire to play County Cricket for the first three months of the season.

The prolific Proteas star, who captained his country from June 2014 to January 2016, has played in 113 Test matches and averages 49.08 in five-day cricket.

Amla has previously had spells with Essex, Nottinghamshire, Surrey and Derbyshire in England, and will play in the County Championship and One-Day Cup for Hampshire.

"I am really pleased to be joining a club like Hampshire," he told the team's official 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."

Director of cricket Giles White added: "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."

Amla has 8,786 runs in Test cricket, and has also amassed 164 ODI appearances for South Africa, who begin a four-match Test series against Australia on Thursday.