HAMPSHIRE have completed an incredible double coup - by signing South Africa star Hashim Amla within a week of unveiling Sam Northeast.

Proteas batsman Hashim will bat in the top four alongside Northeast when Hampshire start their season against Worcestershire on April 13, after signing a three-month deal as overseas player.

The 34-year-old will play alongside former South Africa teammates Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw as a replacement for George Bailey.

He will play in both the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup before returning to Proteas duty for their Test series against Sri Lanka in July.

Hashim has 8,786 Test runs at 49.08, including his career-best 311 not out against England at the Oval in 2012.

He returned to the Oval to play for Surrey for whom he has played ten of his previous 19 County Championship matches from 2013-14.

Amla has a Championship record of 1,551 at 57.44, including stints with Essex (2009), Nottinghamshire (2010) and Derbyshire (2015).

His first division record with Notts and Surrey (2010 and 2013) is even more impressive (922 runs at 61.46).

Hashim mostly batted at three in the Championship, as he does for South Africa, and occasionally four.

But he could help fill the void left by Michael Carberry at the top of the order.

Director of cricket Giles White said: “I spoke to him about opening the batting.

“We have some strength in depth there and it looks a strong team on paper if everyone is fit. He normally bats at three for South Africa but he is very comfortable opening.

“He wants to play, score runs and contribute.

“He’s 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."

Hashim said: “I am really pleased to be joining a club like Hampshire. Everyone I have spoken to, who have either played or are currently playing there, have only 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.”