BASINGSTOKE and North Hants have made their first new signing for their first-ever season in Southern League Division One after South African all-rounder Andrew Niblett joined them.

The 36-year-old will take on the role of player/coach for the coming campaign. He can bowl medium pace and is a hard-hitting middle order batsman.

He impressed on his last visit to May’s Bounty, being named man of the match as his Yateley side claimed victory in the Bluebird Care Guy Jewell Cup.

The all-rounder also guided Yateley to the Thames Valley League Division 2B title.

He emigrated from his native South Africa to New Zealand in 2002 and played five first-class matches for a Central Districts side that included Blackcap stars Ross Taylor, Jamie How and Matthew Sinclair.

Niblett is currently player/ coach with Fulham in Adelaide and has also been player/coach at Market Drayton and Wimborne.

When he joins the Bountymen he will be responsible for first team coaching, as well as developing the future players for the first XI.

Andy Giles, chairman of the cricket section said: “We are delighted Andrew will be joining us this year. Clearly he’s a useful cricketer, but we feel that his coaching abilities are even more important as we develop the club for Southern League Division One and beyond.”

Niblett, who is spending the winter in Adelaide, said: “I am really looking forward to meeting and working with everyone at the club when I arrive in April.”