Lancashire bag Katich
Australia batsman Simon Katich will remain in county cricket next year, having signed as Lancashire’s overseas player for the season.
Katich had a brief spell with the Red Rose in 2010, but is set to be available to them for an entire season this time as he is no longer centrally contracted by Australia.
The left-handed opener last represented his country during the 2010-11 Ashes; he averaged 45 with the bat in 56 Tests and 35 in 45 one-day internationals.
Katich first tasted county cricket in 2000 for Durham and two years later represented Yorkshire. The first of his two spells at Hampshire was from 2003 to 2005 and he also featured for Derbyshire in 2007.
He rejoins the 2011 County Champions as they seek an immediate return to the top flight following relegation this year.
Lancashire's cricket director Mike Watkinson said: "Simon is a quality performer and a top character. He knows our club and county cricket very well and has enjoyed an outstanding career, averaging over 50 in first-class cricket. Naturally, we are delighted to welcome him back to Old Trafford."
Head coach Peter Moores added: "It is great news to have secured a player of Simon's quality and his influence will be felt both on and off the field. We have an emerging group of Lancashire players who will benefit greatly from his experience and knowledge, and his ability as a player is beyond question."
Katich said: "I'm delighted to be returning to Lancashire after a short stint there in 2010. Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone at Hampshire Cricket for all they have done for me. I leave with many great friends and fond memories.
"Lancashire are a proud club who I'm sure will be looking to head straight back up to Division One and I'm determined to play a big part in this happening.
“I enjoyed working with Peter Moores and Glen Chapple in 2010. Their professionalism and attention to detail was particularly impressive and I'm hopeful, that with my experience, I can be a senior member of the squad and help a relatively young group in having a successful season in all forms of the game.
"Next year is a huge year at Old Trafford in that they're hosting another Ashes Test. Having played in an Ashes Test there before in 2005, I know it's going to be a really special time for everyone involved.”
Katich follows Kabir Ali in joining Lancashire from Hampshire after the seamer moved this month.