Will Smith: Hampshire sign ex-Durham batsman

Will Smith

Hampshire have signed former Durham captain Will Smith on a two-year deal.

The 31-year-old batsman and occasional off-spinner made 16 first-class appearances for Durham as they won the County Championship title this term.

But he was released in September after eight years with them, which included captaining them to the 2009 title.

Meanwhile, Hampshire all-rounder Hamza Riazuddin, 23, has retired from first-class cricket after failing to play in the Championship this year.

However, Smith will bring a great deal of first-class experience to Hampshire, having begun his career with Nottinghamshire where he played in the Championship-winning team of 2005.

He joined Durham in 2006, and was part of the first team in the club's history to win the Championship title in 2008 before being appointed captain that winter.

"Will Smith is an experienced batsman and a player we've followed for the last year or so," Hampshire manager Giles White told BBC Radio Solent.

"He is a fine player at this level and fits what we are looking for next year. He is a quality fielder and has captaincy experience and that fits in with our young squad.

"He will bat in the middle order. This is a fresh challenge for him, and hopefully he will come down here and find runs easy to come by."

Having confirmed the signings of Matt Coles, Ruel Brathwaite and Smith, White now admits the priority will be an overseas player.

"An overseas player is probably the main position left at filling now and we will opt for a bowler and try and find the best one available."

Hampshire have also awarded promising 22-year-old batsman Sean Terry with a full contract for two seasons, but have released Adam Rouse, Jack Sheppard, Michael Roberts and Jake George.