County news February 17, 2014

Maxwell returns to Hampshire for T20

ESPNcricinfo staff

Glenn Maxwell, the Australia allrounder, will return to Hampshire for this season's NatWest T20 Blast and may also appear in the other formats depending on the availability of South Africa paceman Kyle Abbott.

Maxwell will be available to Hampshire once his IPL season with Kings XI Punjab is concluded. That tournament is scheduled to run in a window between April 9 and June 3 so he could miss Hampshire's first four T20 matches.

He previously played for the club in 2012 when Hampshire won the Friends Life t20 and he contributed 179 runs in nine matches at a strike-rate of 175.49 alongside seven wickets with his offspin.

"I'm really looking forward to re-joining Hampshire after a year with Surrey in the T20s," Maxwell said. "I've made a lot of close friends from the Hampshire squad and management and I look forward to being part of another successful season with them."

Director of cricket Giles White added: "It's great to have Maxi back with us, he is an extremely popular figure here both amongst the playing group and with the supporters. His all-round qualities make him a great fit in what is shaping up to be an exciting T20 squad."

Recently, Maxwell caught the eye for his performance in Victoria's Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales when he made 94 and 127 - the century came batting at No. 8 after Victoria had crumbled to 9 for 6, the worst start to an innings in Shield history.

It remains to be seen how many of the biggest T20 names in the world the counties are able to attract for the T20 Blast given that it is spread from mid-May until early August, rather than a condensed period of four to six weeks - but Maxwell's return follows Yorkshire's signing of his Victoria and Australia team-mate Aaron Finch.