McKenzie accepts reduced Hampshire role for 2012

Hampshire batsman Neil McKenzie has won the county’s Player of the Year award – but will only return for part of next season.

The South African will be back for a third stint with the county in 2012 and has also revealed he is likely to  extend his Hampshire career beyond next year.

But family commitments mean the Kolpak player will have a rest in April and May and indeed may only play as a Twenty20 specialist, following the arrival of Simon Katich as overseas player.

Hampshire manager Giles White explained: “We’re going to have a more flexible arrangement with Neil that will involve him having a break at the start of the season.

“Neil’s playing cricket 12 months a year and is also building a house in South Africa but we’re keen to get him back for t20 and have agreed that verbally. Now we’re waiting to finalise things.”

McKenzie, 35, helped Hampshire win the 2010 Friends Provident t20 title at The Rose Bowl and was the county’s leading run-scorer this year. He is currently back in South Africa with the Highveld Lions.

“I’ve been on the road for quite a while and family comes first,” said the dad-of-two. “I’d definitely like to come back for a couple of months but not for the start.”

McKenzie was also Hampshire’s Batsman of the Year for 2011, while Danny Briggs won Bowler of the Year.

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