Hampshire confirm batsman Neil McKenzie will return

Neil McKenzie
McKenzie scored over 1,000 first-class runs last season

Hampshire batsman Neil McKenzie has confirmed he will return to the club for a third season in 2012.

The 36-year-old South African has had two prolific seasons at the Rose Bowl, being the only Hants player to score over 1,000 first-class runs last term.

McKenzie will return in time for the Royals' Friends Life t20 campaign, which starts away to south-coast rivals Sussex on Thursday 14 June.

"I'm really looking forward to coming back to the Rose Bowl," said McKenzie.

"Last year was tough for the team, particularly as we had hoped to build on what we had achieved in 2010, so I'm looking forward to making some good contributions for the club going forward.

"We've got everything in place from personnel to facilities and passion so all the indications are that we should have a great 2012."

McKenzie joined Hampshire in 2010 on a Kolpak contract having played 58 Tests for South Africa.

In his first season he helped the county win the Friends Provident T20 although his second term ended with Hampshire's relegation to the County Championship Division Two.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent in October, McKenzie revealed he wanted to play for Hampshire next season: "I'd love to come back to the club if I had my way and if I was a bachelor I would definitely be back, but family has to come first."

Meanwhile, Hampshire have confirmed Benny Howell and Tim Ravenscroft will not be returning to Rose bowl next season.