Imran Tahir will miss the last two games of Hampshire’s season because of his South Africa commitments.
Hampshire’s overseas player is unavailable for the last two LV County Championship matches of the season, against Lancashire at Liverpool this week and Warwickshire at the Rose Bowl in the final round of games.
The leg-spinner has joined up with his South Africa teammates as they prepare for their forthcoming series against Australia.
It is possible, too, that Tahir has played his last game for Hampshire as he will not be returning next year because of South Africa’s eagerly-awaited tour of England.
Tahir starred as a newcomer in South Africa’s side at the World Cup and is likely to make his Test debut for the Proteas in November.
His absence this month is a blow to Hampshire as they almost certainly need to win their remaining matches to avoid relegation after seven seasons in the top flight.
Three years after inspiring Hampshire’s successful survival bid in his first season with the county, Tahir has helped them win three of their last four Championship matches to raise hopes of a repeat escape act.
But Hampshire have a capable replacement in slow left-armer Danny Briggs, the county’s leading wicket taker in the Championship this season.
Tahir said: “The guys are really up for it and I hope and pray they stay where they want to be. It’s been a really tough season but I’ll always be really grateful to Hampshire. They’ve been like a family to me and I’ll miss them.”