HAMPSHIRE star Glenn Maxwell has been awarded a national contract by Cricket Australia (CA). The 23-year-old has been rewarded for the outstanding start he has made to his international career.

Having earned his international call-up on the back of his match-winning t20 performances for Hampshire, Maxwell made his Australia debut while his county teammates were winning T20 Finals Day little more than a month ago.

He starred in his fourth one-day international, hitting a series-clinching 56 not out against Pakistan last month.

And he played his seventh Twenty20 international yesterday, Australia losing by 32 runs to a Pakistan side including Shahid Afridi, Hampshire’s other overseas player at this month’s T20 Champions League.

Maxwell and Afridi were both out for four yesterday but Australia have still qualified for the World Twenty20 semi-finals, while Pakistan remain in contention.

Former South Wilts star Maxwell was playing in the Southern Electric Premier League just six months ago, but his future availability to Hampshire will be more limited now he is a contracted player.