Sri Lanka’s stand-in Test captain Dimuth Karunarathne will play for Hampshire during the first half of the 2019 season.
Karunaratne recently guided his side to a historic 2-0 Test series win as they became the first Asian nation to win away in South Africa.
That was just his first series as Test captain having only taken over the side in early February as stand-in skipper to replace Dinesh Chandimal.
The 30-year-old opener will be available to feature in both the Specsavers County Championship and the Royal London One-Day Cup during his time with the Ageas Bowl club.
‘I am looking forward to continue building on the success from 2018 by playing an important role in Hampshire’s future.’ Hants’ director of cricket, Giles White, added: ‘It’s a great coup to have him here. Dimuth is a perfect fit for us as a top-order batsman.
‘He isn’t involved in Sri Lanka’s white-ball side, so he’ll be with us during that period of the World Cup. ‘Availability and a top-order batsman were the key factors when we were looking for an overseas player, so we’re delighted to welcome him for what will be his first taste of county cricket.’
Dimuth Karunarathne made three fifties in Sri Lanka’s Test series defeat to England before Christmas and will be available to Hampshire for ten County Championship matches.