Matt Coles, the England Lions fast bowler, has agreed a three-year contract with Hampshire, the county where he spent the last month of the season on loan. Coles had previously told Kent he would not be signing a new deal with them.
Coles, who along with Ben Stokes was sent home from the Lions tour of Australia last winter, impressed during his short spell with Hampshire, taking 21 wickets in five matches, as well as scoring two half-centuries. In the final game of the season, against Essex, he claimed his best match figures of 10 for 154 in a resounding win.
"I'm delighted to have made the move to Hampshire a permanent one," Coles said. "In my short time here I've been very impressed with the way Giles White runs things. He has an excellent structure in place and a positive environment in which to develop and hone your skills.
"Everyone at the club has welcomed me and there's a great atmosphere in the dressing room. Hopefully, in the month I've been here, I have shown the guys that I'm capable of helping the team to achieve the results which will bring us promotion next season and add to the long list of honours at the Ageas Bowl."
Although Hampshire reached the semi-finals of both limited-overs competitions, they finished mid-table in Division Two. Last season, Coles claimed 52 Championship wickets at 22.03 for Kent, although he struggled for form this year before deciding to move on.
Hampshire's manager, Giles White, added; "Matt has shown matchwinning qualities during his time with us and we are delighted that he is joining the squad on a permanent basis. He is a young player with great all-round ability and we hope that he is able to fulfil his potential and build on what has been an excellent start to his Hampshire career."