Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis will join Hampshire County Cricket Club as its overseas player for the next summer (2010 season), it was announced here on Monday.
The 24-year-old, who has taken 39 wickets from just eight Tests since making his debut last year, will replace Pakistani spinner, Imran Tahir.
Announcing the news, Chairman Rod Bransgrove said, “Mendis is the most exciting new bowler to explode onto the world stage since Shane Warne. And, we are pleased he’s joining us.”
Tahir will rejoin the county in 2011 pending international commitments.
Mendis was the first Sri Lankan bowler to take eight wickets on Test debut, against India in Colombo, and has also played 30 One-Day Internationals, taking 66 wickets with the best figures of six for 13, again against India in the Asia Cup.
Mendis has also played 10 Twenty20 Internationals, taking 23 wickets with the best of four for 15 against Zimbabwe. He was named emerging player of the year at the 2008 ICC awards ahead of Stuart Broad, Ishant Sharma and Morne Morkel.