GLENN Maxwell could be available for at least ten of Hampshire’s 14 group matches in the revamped domestic Twenty20 competition.
As revealed in Saturday’s Daily Echo, Maxwell could also play for Hampshire in other formats, depending on the availability of South-African overseas bowler Kyle Abbott.
Cricket Australia see Maxwell developing into a Test regular and want him to practise his longer-form game with the county.
He should get that opportunity if Abbott tours Zimbabwe with South Africa in August and when he plays for Sunfoil Dolphins at the T20 Champions league in September.
But it is in the Natwest T20 Blast that Maxwell will be a Hampshire regular when he returns to the Ageas Bowl after playing for Kings XI Punjab at the Indian Premier League.
If he reaches the IPL final with his latest franchise – which bought him for $1m last week – Maxwell would miss Hampshire’s first four group games; against Glamorgan, Sussex, Middlesex and Essex.
The T20 Blast begins on May 16 – when Hampshire host Glamorgan in the first of nine Friday night group games, the ‘appointment to view’ the schedulers hope will increase crowds this season. It will be Hampshire’s earliest ever start to a T20 campaign and Maxwell, who starred for Hampshire in 2012 before playing for Surrey last year, is a considerable boost to the county’s chances of reaching a fifth successive Finals Day.
Maxwell said: “I’m really looking forward to re-joining Hampshire after a year with Surrey in the T20s. 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, below, said: “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.”