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Abbott answers Hampshire prayer

Hampshire have signed South Africa paceman Kyle Abbott, who took 7-29 in his first Test bowling has not made another format appearance, as their overseas player for this season.

His sole five-day appearance came as an injury replacement for Jacques Kallis at Centurion in February last year when Abbott decimated Pakistan in an innings-victory that gave the top-ranked Proteas a 3-0 whitewash.

Kyle Abbott pictured on his stunning Test debut when he returned 7-29 during Pakistan's first-innings 156 at Centurion

Kallis’ return to fitness and South Africa's seam-bowling strength have since restricted Abbott to three limited-overs international appearances, all versus Pakistan last March. Hampshire therefore hope Abbott will be available for the whole campaign barring their first LV= County Championship game, which he is set to miss.

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: "To have a bowler of Kyle's quality available for the entire 2014 campaign is a huge boost to the squad. He comes highly recommended both as a player and a person and we look forward to him joining up with the squad in April."

The 26-year old has an impressive record for Durban-based team Sunfoil Dolphins, with 165 wickets at an average of 21.9 in 45 first-class matches. Also a useful lower-order batsman, he was the leading wicket-taker in the 2012-13 domestic first-class competition.

Abbott has also been effective in both List A and Twenty20 domestic cricket, with bowling averages of 28 and 25.5 respectively since his debut in 2009.

He said: "It's been a long time ambition of mine to play county cricket and I have heard great things about Hampshire.

“I am excited about the opportunity and am grateful that Cricket South Africa has given me permission to play, subject to my Dolphins and South African commitments.

“I look forward to meeting up with the Hampshire team in early April and hopefully I can contribute to some good wins."

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