London:New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond will play for Hampshire in the opening weeks of the 2008 season, the English county announced on Friday.
Bond is scheduled to arrive at the Rose Bowl in April and play through until the start of the Twenty20 while Hampshire captain Shane Warne is away playing in the inaugural Indian Premier League which cuts across the start of the English domestic season.
"I'm really excited about the signing of Shane Bond for the start of our season," said Hampshire team manager Paul Terry.
"With the very busy international programme going on at this time of the year, finding a bowler with his genuine quality that has the time and the desire to play county cricket has been difficult - so I'm delighted that Shane has agreed to join Hampshire."
Bond, who late last year signed a deal with the Indian Cricket League, the IPL's Twenty20 rival, turned down a move to Worcestershire.
His new employers are in no doubt about the pedigree of the 32-year-old, who has 79 Test wickets to his name in an injury-interrupted career but faces an uncertain international future thanks to his links with the breakaway ICL.
"He is regarded as one of the best quick bowlers in the world in all forms of the game," added Terry.
"He will add a wealth of skill and experience to our relatively inexperienced bowling squad, and I look forward to him having a real impact on our early-season cricket."