Former England all-rounder Dimi Mascarenhas has signed a new two-year contract with Hampshire – extending his county career to a possible 18th season.
Masarenhas, who made his Hampshire debut as a teenager more than 15 years ago, will also captain the county again in the Friends Life t20 competition.
With Nic Pothas, Dominic Cork, Michael Lumb and Simon Jones all off the Rose Bowl wage bill, Mascarenhas’s presence will add valuable experience to a young Hampshire side in the LV County Championship’s second division.
The 34-year-old has been dogged by an Achilles injury for the best part of two years but believes he will be fully fit for the start of the new season.
Mascarenhas, who has played 20 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty20 internationals, said: “I’ve been here since 1996 so I didn’t want to go anywhere. There was just a little bit of uncertainty about the injury and how that was going to hold up but the club’s shown faith and I’ve got through so they’ve rewarded me with another two-year deal and I’m very happy.”
Mascarenhas captained Hampshire from 2008-09 and is glad to be resuming that role in the shortest format. “When the opportunity came up to do this, I jumped at it because I love to be captain,” he said. “We try to go out there and play aggressive cricket and win every game – that’s always our way, especially in Twenty20. So I don’t think there’s going to be a lot of difference to the way I’ve approached it in the past.”
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: “Dimi has been given this club amazing service over many years now and I am very pleased that we are extending our relationship further.
“He has endured some trying injuries but has always given 100 per cent and is now returning to full fitness. As far as I’m concerned, Dimi is symbolic of all that is good about Hampshire Cricket and I am sure he will continue to impress with both bat and ball for at least another two seasons.
“He will fit in very well as Twenty20 captain, bringing his enormous experience to a team which has excelled at this format in recent years.”