Hampshire confirm batsman Neil McKenzie will return

Hampshire batsman Neil McKenzie has confirmed he will return to the club for a third season in 2012.

McKenzie, who is currently playing for the Highveld Lions in his home country of South Africa, will arrive in time for the start of the Friends Life t20 in June and is then expected to stay on for the remainder of the county season.

The 36-year-old batsman, who played 58 Tests, 64 one-day and two Twenty20 internationals for South Africa from 2000 to 2009, first joined the club for the 2010 season, scoring 942 first-class runs at an average of 47.10.

In 2011, he was the only Hampshire batsma to score more than 1,000 Championship runs.

“I’m really looking forward to coming back to the Rose Bowl for my third season,” McKenzie 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 also confirmed that two of its players, Benny Howell and Tim Ravenscroft, will not be returning for the 2012 campaign.

Ravenscroft has chosen to explore options outside of cricket, while Howell is looking at options elsewhere.

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