Mohammad Abbas, the Pakistan seamer, has agreed a deal to return to Hampshire and strengthen their bid for the LV= Insurance County Championship title.

Abbas claimed 27 wickets at 15.96 in seven Group Two games during the conference stage of the Championship earlier this summer - including a hat-trick amid a haul of 6 for 11 against Middlesex at the Ageas Bowl.

Having been part of Pakistan's Test squad in the Caribbean, where he helped the tourists secure a 1-1 draw, Abbas will serve a quarantine period in the UK. He will be available for Hampshire's second game in Division One, against Warwickshire at Edgbaston starting next Sunday, as well as fixtures against Lancashire and Nottinghamshire.

Hampshire qualified in second from Group Two, taking 8.5 points with them - meaning they will start Division One in fourth, behind Warwickshire, Somerset and Lancashire. They will begin their campaign against Yorkshire at the Ageas Bowl on Monday.

The winner of the division will claim the Championship title - something Hampshire have not done since 1973 - while the top two teams will go on to contest the Bob Willis Trophy in a five-day game at Lord's at the end of September.