Sam Northeast believes his move to Hampshire can help him fulfil his England ambitions.

Hampshire confirmed the signing at the weekend, having beaten off competition from most of their first division rivals.

Northeast, who will replace George Bailey in Hampshire’s top order, has spent all of his career with Kent but decided to move on after being replaced as captain by Sam Billings last month.

He said: “I have had a really enjoyable ten years at Kent and I would like to wish the club and its supporters the best of luck for the future. 

“It was an honour to be the club captain for three years and I leave the club with many happy memories.

“At the same time, I am hugely excited about joining Hampshire. 

“It is a club and a team with a very bright future, and I am really looking forward to making as big a contribution as possible towards the club’s success. 

“I hope this move will also help me push on to fulfil my dream of playing for England.”

Hampshire director of cricket, Giles White said: “Sam is an exciting addition to the squad.

"He’s the type of cricketer and person we believe will fit into the team well and we’re delighted he’s chosen to pursue his career at Hampshire.  

“He will add quality to the batting line-up, has ability in all forms of the game and has a strong desire to improve. 

“Hopefully we can provide him the platform to push for higher honours.”

Northeast, who will be captaining the South against the North in a 50-over series in Barbados in March, played for England U19s with James Vince, Chris Wood and Liam Dawson and is an option to captain Hampshire when Vince is unavailable. 

The 28 year-old has a first-class career aggregate of 8,528 runs at 39.66.

That includes 647 Championship runs at 53.91 against Hampshire, including 422 at 70.33 at The Ageas Bowl, where he scored division two centuries in 2012 and 2014.

Northeast made 688 runs at 24.6 in his only first division season (2010) but has been prolific as Kent’s captain.

Before replacing Rob Key in the role in 2015, Northeast had not made 1,000 first-class runs in a season.

But he has passed the milestone in all three seasons as captain, scoring a total of 3,623 runs at 56.6, including nine centuries, from 2015-17. He has captained Kent in all competitions for the last three seasons, averaging 30-plus in both limited-overs forms.