DORSET have made a statement signing with the addition of big-hitting batter Ross Whiteley for the 2023 white-ball season.

Whiteley, 34, has extensive experience in limited overs cricket and finished fifth with Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League this winter.

The left-hander, who famously smashed six sixes in an over for Worcestershire against Yorkshire in 2017, has also appeared in the Pakistan Super League and The Hundred.

He also won the T20 Blast with Worcestershire Rapids in 2018 and was part of the Rapids side that lost to Essex on the last ball of the 2019 final.

Whiteley, who signed a three-year white-ball deal with Hampshire in 2021, will be a hugely valuable signing for the Dorset middle order, according to new head coach Paul Lawrence.

He told the Dorset Echo: “It’s one that works well for both parties. Having spoken to Ross, he was very keen to make it work for him and his white-ball cricket but also that it worked for us.

“In those initial discussions I had with Ben (Skipworth, managing director), it needed to be the right person and we think Ross is the right professional for us.”

Dorset captain Luke Webb believes Whiteley’s arrival can drive the county on to T20 success after blossoming in the format in recent years.

Webb said: “We’ve probably been about as successful as you can be in Twenty20 cricket without lifting the trophy.

“One area we identified we probably need to improve is power in the middle order and Ross certainly provides that.

“When the opportunity came about it’s most importantly about the person and what he can bring to the group.

“If that aligns, then it’s perfect. It’s exciting to have him in the team and exciting for the competition to have a player of his quality.”

Lawrence also spoke of the experience Whiteley can bring to Dorset’s talented yet youthful squad.

“We’ve probably got on average the youngest side,” he said.

“It’s going to be very important for Ross with his experience to pass on that to the group.

“The way he goes about his business will be just as important as well, hence why when we approached Ross we had no doubt that he was the person for us and would fit very well.”

The Dorset Echo understands Whiteley's contract could be extended, pending talks later this summer.

And Skipworth teased some further details about Whiteley’s deal.

“He’ll be out in the community for us as well,” he revealed.

“He’ll be out doing presentations and we’re hoping he’ll be helping with some coaching, big-hitting.

“Ross can have a massive impact. Our working relationship with Hampshire brought this about and we’re excited about the positive impact he could have on the side.

“He’s going to be there for the T20 campaign and also the 50-over Trophy.”

Whiteley, who has a Hundred contract with Oval Invincibles this summer, will make his Dorset debut in their NCCA T20 double-header against Herefordshire at Sherborne School on Sunday (11am).