Will Smith could take over the Hampshire captaincy after signing a two-year deal at the Ageas Bowl following his controversial release by county champions, Durham.
Hampshire captain Jimmy Adams is unsure whether he will continue in the role for next season and Smith, who captained Durham to the 2009 Championship title, could be in line to replace him.
Smith, a 30-year-old right-hander, also captained Durham University and is one of a number of candidates that could replace Adams if he steps aside after two years in the role.
"No doubt I'll sit down and see what's best for the club," Adams told the Southern Daily Echo. "There's a part of captaincy that I find great and other parts that are tough."
Left-arm quick bowler James Tomlinson and allrounder Sean Ervine are also potential replacements, along with Australia's T20 captain George Bailey, who is keen to return to Hampshire for a full season in 2014.
Smith led Durham to their second consecutive County Championship title in 2009, his only season as captain, following his excellent year with the bat in 2008. He averaged 51.38 as Durham claimed their maiden title. But he has since failed to match that figure and despite playing 16 matches this year, a return of 786 runs at 30.23 wasn't deemed good enough to earn a new deal.
But Hampshire were quick to add him to a squad that is being refreshed following two lean years in first-class cricket. Smith has scored over 6000 first-class runs and will be a familiar face to many at the Ageas Bowl having played for British Universities with Adams and alongside Neil McKenzie and Ruel Brathwaite at Durham. Brathwaite, Smith and allrounder Matt Coles have all recently signed contracts with Hampshire.
"I'm delighted to sign with Hampshire and really excited by the opportunity to represent a club for whom I have the upmost respect," Smith said. "The Royals possess an immensely gifted squad of cricketers, which I am over the moon to now be a part of and looking forward to the team pursuit of winning some silverware in 2014."
Hampshire manager Giles White added: "We are looking forward to welcoming Will and his family to the club. Alongside his batting and fielding he brings a wealth of experience, having played his part in a number of championship winning sides."
Hampshire have also awarded promising young batsman Sean Terry with a full contract for two seasons. Terry, 22, has enjoyed a productive year for Hampshire second XI and also hit two half-centuries in the Championship in September.