HAMPSHIRE Cricket has announced the signing of top-order batsman Sam Northeast.

The sought-after right-hander has signed a long-term deal with the club, committing his future until at least the end of 2021.

Since making his debut for Kent in 2007, Northeast has totalled more than 8,000 first-class runs at an average of 39.66 in 136 matches, while the 28-year-old has reached the 1,000-run landmark in each of the past three County Championship campaigns.

The Ashford-born player has also proved to be an excellent performer across both white-ball formats, playing a key role recording more than 4,500 runs in 178 List A and T20 fixtures.

Northeast said: “I have had a really enjoyable 10 years at Kent and I would like to wish the club and its supporters the best of luck for the future.

"It was an honour to be the club captain for three years and I leave the club with many happy memories.

“At the same time, I am hugely excited about joining Hampshire. It is a club and a team with a very bright future and I am really looking forward to making as big a contribution as possible towards the club's success. I hope this move will also help me push on to fulfil my dream of playing for England.”

Following his appointment as Kent captain in 2015, Northeast continued to impress with his leadership qualities.

Earlier this year, he was selected to skipper the South side in the ECB’s upcoming North-South series in Barbados, which is set to get underway next month.

Hampshire director of cricket Giles White said: “Sam is an exciting addition to the squad. He’s the type of cricketer and person that we believe will fit into the team well and we are delighted that he has chosen to pursue his career at Hampshire.

“He will add quality to the batting line-up, has ability in all forms of the game and has a strong desire to improve. Hopefully, we can provide him the platform to push for higher honours.”