Hampshire have confirmed that Australian international Marcus North will fill in for Imran Tahir, who has a facial injury, in the early part of the 2009 season.
North, who made his Test debut in the recent series in South Africa, will become the third Australian after Phillip Hughes (Middlesex) and Stuart Clark (Kent) to play in county cricket ahead of the 2009 Ashes series.
Tahir suffered a broken jaw during a SuperSport Series match for the Nashua Titans and North will play as Hampshire's overseas player until June.
Hampshire Cricket Manager Giles White told Hampshire's official website (www.rosebowlplc.com): "I am delighted that Marcus will be joining us so early on in the season. His attacking and dominant style of play with both bat and ball will fit in perfectly with the balance of the side, and I am sure his experience will prove invaluable to the club."
North registered a in Johannesburg and has previously played for Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Derbyshire and Durham in England.
© Cricket World 2009