Dan Hewitt has expressed his delight at finally sealing a deal to bring Roscoe Thattil to Ridge Meadow.
The Hambledon first-team skipper was denied the services of the 20-year-old all-rounder last summer because of visa problems.
The protracted transfer left the Dons without an overseas player as they scrapped for Southern Electric Premier League division two survival.
But with those problems now firmly ironed out, a relieved Hewitt has welcomed the Sri Lankan talent, who has played 14 first-class matches, to the club.
‘I could not be happier that we have finally got Roscoe on board after unfortunately having his visa denied twice last year,’ said the captain.
‘I know a lot of hard work has gone in to getting it through this time.
‘And I have to relay my appreciation to the Hambledon committee and all of those helping Roscoe in Sri Lanka.
‘If we knew it was going to take this long in the first place we could have saved some money on flights and got Roscoe to walk here!
‘But it is definitely a huge bridge crossed for the club.
‘After a successful season throughout the club last year, I am confident Roscoe is going to be pivotal to the continued success in 2013.
‘Having a player of his quality and experience will not only be an asset to the first team but the club as a whole.
‘He will be supporting in coaching sessions and providing the colts set-up with invaluable technique tips and game scenario advice.’
Hambledon retained their division two status on the final day of last summer.
Defeat at Paultons left them sweating on the result of the clash between Sarisbury and OTs & Romsey.
Fortunately, Sarisbury edged to victory over their hosts – and in turn spared the Dons from the drop.
But with Thattil now on board, Hewitt is determined to see his side battling at the other end of the table.
‘The first team had mixed success in 2012,’ he said.
‘But, realistically, upon receiving the news Roscoe wasn’t able to join us the target was simply to stay up.
‘And that was something we achieved, albeit hunched around a phone on the last game of the season.
‘Roscoe will come in and provide strength to our top four and give us 10 overs a week of spin.
‘Those are two things we really lacked on a consistent basis last year.
‘With Roscoe now in the mix, our targets should be set high – I will not be happy with anything less than a top-half finish but it should be better.’
And Hewitt is confident Thattil will settle in quickly at Ridge Meadow.
He added: ‘I hope as a club we can offer Roscoe the famous Hambledon spirit and the opportunity to develop his own cricket in somewhat greener conditions than he is used to.’
The Southern Electric Premier League season begins on May 4.