McKenzie agrees Rose Bowl return
Hampshire have confirmed Neil McKenzie will return in 2012 for a third stint as a Kolpak player.
The 36-year-old batsman, who played 58 Tests, 64 one-day and two Twenty20 internationals for South Africa from 2000 to 2009, will arrive in time for the start of the Friends Life t20 in June.
McKenzie was Hampshire’s leading run-scorer in the LV= County Championship last summer. He amassed 1,120 runs and combined with Michael Carberry against Yorkshire to record the ninth-highest partnership in the history of first-class cricket. In a remarkable stand of 523, McKenzie’s personal contribution was a career-best 237.
Although Hampshire were ultimately relegated from Division One, McKenzie, who also featured for the south coast outfit in 2010, is excited at the prospect of renewing his ties with the club.
“I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Rose Bowl for my third season,” he said.
“Last year was tough for the team, particularly as we had hoped to build on what we had achieved in 2010, so I’m looking forward to making some good contributions for the club going forward.
“We've got everything in place from personnel to facilities and passion so all the indications are that we should have a great 2012.”
Hampshire manager Giles White said: “It's a great boost for the changing room that Neil will be returning in 2012. He contributes on many different levels, has been outstanding in one-day cricket and brings quality and experience to the group.
“It is the intention for Neil to join the squad in the lead up to the Friends Life t20 competition but we have discussed a flexibility that may allow us to call on his services before then.”
Hampshire have also revealed that Benny Howell and Tim Ravenscroft will not be part of their squad in 2012. France-born batsman Howell, 23, is looking at options elsewhere, while Ravenscroft, who recently renewed his development contract, has chosen to explore a career outside of cricket.