Hampshire director of cricket Giles White says Hashim Amla is likely to open the batting in the Specsavers County Championship - and will help the development of homegrown batsmen Tom Alsop and Joe Weatherley.

The 34 year-old, who made 0 and eight as South Africa lost the first of their four Tests against Australia at the weekend, is due to meet his new teammates on April 10.

He is not available for any of the county’s six pre-season friendlies, but will arrives in time to go straight into the team against Worcestershire on April 13.

“Hashim is willing to do what’s best for the team so it’s likely at this stage that he will open,” said White, who last week spoke about the need “to get the balance right between bringing players on and giving them the opportunity, but also winning games”.

He said: “We’ve got to make sure we don’t block their path but at the same time be aware that we need to win games and to do that we need runs on the board.”

Hashim Amla should certainly provide those.

“We’ve lost Will Smith, Michael Carberry, George Bailey and potentially James Vince, England’s number three,” said White.

“But in Hashim and Sam Northeast we’ve recruited two players of real quality.

“There are no guaranteed positions, it’s for players to put their hands up.

“For players like Tom and Joe it’s a wonderful opportunity to rub shoulders and be around a player who is one of the greatest of his generation.”

Amla should be available for eight of Hampshire’s 16 Championship matches, including both against Surrey, his former county, and the entire Royal London One-Day Cup campaign.

He has only played five one-day games for his previous counties, but an ODI record of 7,535 runs at 50.23 bodes well for this year’s 50-over competition, which starts against Sussex at Hove on May 19.

Hampshire’s first two pre-season friendlies are against Kent, beginning with a two-dayer at Canterbury on March 15.

After back-to-back two-dayers at home to Kent (March 22-23) and Sussex (26-27), they take on Sussex at Hove (29-30) before hosting Middlesex (April 2-3) and Cardiff MCCU (April 7-9).