Mendis has enjoyed a meteoric rise to prominence since making his Sri Lanka debut in 2008.
The spinner, whose mixture of googlies, off-breaks, top-spinners, flippers and leg-breaks have deceived batsmen the world over.
Perhaps most noticeable is his carrom ball, which he releases with an unusual flick of his fingers.
In the 2008 Asia Cup final Mendis took 6-13 against India in only his eighth one-day international. His 17 wickets in the tournament earned him the man-of-the-series award and a call-up to the Test squad.
Mendis responded to the challenge by becoming the first Sri Lankan to take eight wickets on Test debut, claiming 26 wickets in his inaugural series against India.
Mendis will be Hampshire’s overseas player for the 2009 season, following in the footsteps of another star spin bowler, Shane Warne.