Hampshire have responded to relegation to the LV County Championship’s second division by releasing Nic Pothas and re-signing Simon Katich as their overseas player.
Beneficiary Pothas is the most high-profile of the players following Dominic Cork out of the Rose Bowl, having been at the club since 2002.
The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has helped Hampshire to win three trophies during his decade with the county but has not been a regular over the last two seasons.
He said: “Although I have no intention of retiring from cricket and am sad to be leaving Hampshire, and when the time is right I’m sure I will continue to explore other options within cricket.
“I still have a number of events left for my benefit year with the club and hopefully I will enjoy the continued support of our loyal fans.
“In addition, I have a number of interests within the property market outside cricket, as anyone who knows me will testify, and I will continue to explore these while I consider my options.”
Also on the way out are Kolpak duo Johann Myburgh and Friedel de Wet, neither of whom have played for the first team since May.
Katich replaces Imran Tahir, who is expected to be playing for South Africa against England next year. The Australian played for Hampshire in 2003 and also had short spells with the club in 2004 and 2005, before and after that summer’s Ashes series.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to going back to The Rose Bowl. I have many good friends and memories from my previous time at the club. Hampshire have been great to my family and I during my career and I am looking forward to helping the club continue to have success.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy Adams has been confirmed as Hampshire’s new captain for next season.