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Hampshire sign former Durham captain Will Smith on a two-year deal

Will Smith: New start at Hampshire

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

Smith captained Durham to the County Championship crown in 2009, and was ever-present this year as they won the title again.

He was Durham's third highest scorer in the Championship with 786 runs, scored at an average of 30.23.

Smith, 31, was released at the end of the season after eight years - and in total three Championship titles - at Chester-le-Street.

Smith has also won the Championship with Nottinghamshire, back in 2005, and Hampshire manager Giles White is hoping to benefit from his experience.

Challenge

"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.

"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."

Smith is Hampshire's third new signing for next season, following Matt Coles, signed from Kent, and another former Durham man in fast bowler Ruel Braithwaite.

White says his priority now is to find an overseas player - and he wants a bowler.

"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."

The club has also confirmed that young batsman Sean Terry - son of Hampshire great Paul - has been given a new two-year contract.

But Adam Rouse, Jack Sheppard, Michael Roberts and Jake George have all been released and medium pace bowler Hamza Riazuddin has decided to retire from the game at the age of 23.