Kyle Abbott backs Hashim Amla to be a Hampshire hit

Hashim Amla. Picture: Neil Marshall
Hashim Amla. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Kyle Abbott insists his ‘good mate’ Hashim Amla will be a Hampshire hit.

The South Africa international is operating as the Ageas Bowl outfit’s overseas player for the first half of the season.

He made his Hampshire debut in their County Championship division one curtain-raiser victory over Worcestershire last week, scoring 36 in both innings.

Amla, who has notched 8,982 Test runs, will line up to face Surrey today at the Oval (11am).

His former Proteas team-mate Abbott believes the 35-year-old right-handed batsman is a ‘great signing.’

But he revealed he had little to do Amla’s negotiations to move to the Ageas Bowl.

Abbott said: ‘He’s someone I know well and he’s a great signing for us.

‘I’ve learnt a lot from bowling to him and as a bowling unit, we’re going to pick up an awful lot from him.

‘As a person in the changing room, he’s someone you want on your side.

‘I actually had very little to do with the deal.

‘Giles White (director of cricket) asked if I could have a word with him. I asked him if he’d be interested in coming to play for.

‘He said he was and his agent got hold of us.

‘I didn’t have much to do with it but he’s going to be a great signing for us.

‘I played with him for the Dolphins before I played for South Africa - he came back to play domestic cricket.

‘I’ve had quite a long history with him and he’s a good mate of mine.’