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Page last updated at 10:24 GMT, Monday, 17 August 2009 11:24 UK

Spinner Mendis to join Hampshire

Ajantha Mendis
Mendis has best match figures of 10-209 in Tests

Sri Lankan spinner Ajantha Mendis will join Hampshire as their overseas player for the 2010 season.

The 24-year-old, who has taken 39 wickets in just eight Test matches since making his debut last year, will replace Pakistani spinner Imran Tahir.

Chairman Rod Bransgrove said: "Mendis is the most exciting new bowler to explode onto the world stage since Shane Warne.

"We are pleased he's joined us over other counties."

Tahir will rejoin the county in 2011 pending international commitments.

Mendis bowls a mixture of googlies, off-breaks, top-spinners, flippers, leg-breaks and the 'carrom ball', which he releases with a flick of his middle finger.


He was the first Sri Lankan to take eight wickets on his Test debut, against India in Colombo, and has also played 30 one-day internationals, taking 66 wickets with best figures of 6-13 against India in the Asia Cup.

His 17 wickets in the tournament earned him the man-of-the-series award.

Mendis has also played 10 Twenty20 internationals, taking 23 wickets with a best of 4-15 against Zimbabwe.

He was named emerging player of the year at the 2008 ICC awards ahead of Stuart Broad, Ishant Sharma and Morne Morkel.

Mendis was one of seven Sri Lankan players injured in an ambush in Lahore in March, in which six police officers and two civilians were killed.

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see also
Tahir to start season with Hants
31 Mar 09 |  Hampshire
Sri Lanka spinner leaves hospital
16 Mar 09 |  Sri Lanka
Spin star Mendis set for Test bow
22 Jul 08 |  International Teams
Mendis to miss Bangladesh Tests
11 Dec 08 |  Sri Lanka

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