HAMPSHIRE Hawks have announced the signing of South African fast bowler Ottniel Baartman for their final six T20 Blast group matches.

The 31 year old could also be available for the knockout stages of the competition if Hampshire can advance.

Baartman is a right-arm fast bowler who played for Sunrisers Eastern Cape in their victorious South African T20 campaigns in 2023 & 2024.

He was the competition’s second-leading wicket-taker this year, taking 18 wickets at an economy of 6.95 runs per over.

Speaking on signing for Hampshire, Baartman said: "I'm really looking forward to joining up with Hampshire Hawks for my first experience of county cricket. 

"It is great to link back up with Adi Birrell and Liam Dawson who I know well from the SA20.

"I have heard great things about the atmosphere at Utilita Bowl and I can't wait to get playing in front of the Hawks fans this summer."

Hampshire's Dawson is excited to play alongside Baartman again after the two spent time together at Sunrisers over the winter.

Dawson claimed: "Luckily I got to play with him in the winter. He is a fantastic death bowler and embraces big moments in games.

"If any Hampshire fans watched the South African tournament, he closed a lot of games out for us.

"He is a brilliant signing and he will be a big fit for our team here at Hampshire."

The South African has featured in 70 T20s in his career taking 98 wickets with best figures of five for 14.

He was selected in South Africa’s squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup, ahead of established players such as Lungi Ngidi and Nandre Burger.

Hampshire director of cricket, Giles White added: "It’s a great boost to the squad that Ottniel is available and keen to join us after the World Cup.

"He fits the role perfectly and comes off the back of an outstanding domestic summer in South Africa."

Baartman replaces Afghanistan international Naveen-ul-Haq in the Hampshire squad after he was unable to join the side due to personal circumstances.

The new signing will make the trip to Radlett to take on Middlesex on Saturday, July 6 in his first Hampshire action.

The Utilita Bowl side start their Vitality Blast campaign against Surrey on Thursday, May 30 as part of the double-header with women's champions, Southern Vipers.

The day will feature a DJ, family fun zone, interval entertainment, live music, and also the opportunity to have post-match selfies and gain signatures with Hawks and Vipers players.