Ryan McLaren’s performance in a four-match stint with Hampshire this year, which helped them keep their place in the first division, has earned him a full contract.
The county side announced on Thursday that McLaren would be their overseas professional in all formats for the 2016 season.
The Proteas discard was parachuted in to help save Hampshire from the drop, and he made an immediate impact in his first game. He picked up seven wickets in the match and weighed in with a valuable 30 at a crucial time in the first innings, helping to set up a seven-wicket win.
‘Ryan came into the team at the back end of last season, impressed everyone and proved to be a great fit for us,’ said Giles White, Hampshire’s director of cricket. ‘He gives the team balance, is an excellent professional and performs in both red and white ball cricket.’
Hampshire admitted they were talking to him about a return last September though there was a possibility he could have joined as a Kolpak registration.
His status as an overseas player should render his registration and work permit application a more straightforward process and leaves him free to continue his international career, though he has not been selected by South Africa in any format for a year. It is possible he could be re-registered as a Kolpak at a later date.
‘My first experience with the county at the end of the 2015 season was hugely enjoyable and I was delighted to play a part in helping the county retain first division status,’ McLaren said.
‘I look forward to returning in April and helping Hampshire challenge across the board.’