County cricket September 16, 2011

Hampshire sign Katich, release Pothas

ESPNcricinfo staff

Hampshire have signed Simon Katich as their overseas player for next season but released Nic Pothas, the wicketkeeper, after his contract expired. Jimmy Adams, the opening batsman who led the side in the closing weeks of the summer in place of Dominic Cork, has been confirmed as captain for next year as the county aim to bounce back from Championship relegation.

Katich's deal means a return to the club he played for between 2003 and 2005. He should be available for the entire season after losing his place in the Australia Test team and will add further strength to a top order that includes Adams, Michael Carberry and Neil McKenzie.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to The Rose Bowl as I have many good friends and memories from my previous time at the club," Katich said. "Hampshire have been great to my family and I during my career and I am looking forward to helping the club continue to have success."

Giles White, the Hampshire manager, said: "We're delighted with the signing of Simon. He comes back to us, having been with us before, because he's enjoyed his time here and we've really enjoyed it when he's played for us in the past. He's everything we need in an overseas player at this stage.

"He's a quality player, first and foremost. But he's a very good man as well and the lads respect him highly so he's a good bloke to have around the changing room. His availability's very good too so, with all that coupled together, we're very pleased."

Meanwhile, Pothas, who scored over 10,000 runs during his Hampshire career, insists he has no plans to retire from professional cricket at the age of 37. He hadn't been in the team since suffering appendicitis midway through the season and Hampshire now look to put their faith behind Michael Bates.

"Although I have no intention of retiring from cricket and am sad to be leaving Hampshire, when the time is right I'm sure I will continue to explore other options within cricket," Pothas said. "I still have a number of events left for my benefit year with the club and hopefully I will enjoy the continued support of our loyal fans.

"In addition, I have a number of interests within the property market outside cricket, as anyone who knows me will testify, and I will continue to explore these while I consider my options. I would like to thank all the fans and supporters who I've had the privilege to meet and entertain over the last nine years. Their support has been both generous and invaluable and for that I am eternally grateful."

Kolpak signings Johann Myburgh and Friedel de Wet as well as Academy player Jamie Miller have also been released ahead of next season.