Hampshire have signed Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne as their overseas player for the first half of the season

The 30-year-old batsman which will play in both the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup competitions.

Karunaratne was appointed captain of the Sri Lanka Test side in February and, in his first series at the helm, he led his side to a historic 2-0 victory against South Africa, becoming the first team from Asia and just the third team overall to win an away Test series against the Proteas.

The left-handed opening batsman has made more than 50 Test and 17 ODI appearances since  his debut in July 2011.

He has scored more than 4,000 Test runs, including eight centuries and 22 fifties, and was named in the most recent ICC’s Men’s Test Team of the Year.

Hampshire Director of Cricket, Giles White said: “We’re delighted to have Dimuth with us for the first half of the season and we’re excited about what he brings to the group, both on and off the pitch.

“He’s a high-class player and in recent months we’ve seen his quality, not only as an opening batsman at the top of the order, but also as a leader as part of Sri Lanka’s recent historic series win in South Africa. We’re really looking forward to welcoming Dimuth to the Club.”

Dimuth Karunaratne said: “It has always been my dream to play in the County Championship and I couldn’t be happier for it to be at a county like Hampshire. I am looking forward to continue building on the success from 2018 by playing an important role in Hampshire’s future.”