South Africa opening batsman Aiden Markram has signed a deal with English side Durham for the early part of the 2018 County Championship season.
The 22-year-old Markram, who captained the Proteas in the recent ODI series against India, will join up with the county before the first game of the season against Kent in April and will stay on until the middle of May.
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham, who played for Durham in the English summer, will take over as the overseas player when Markram leaves.
England legend and current Durham chairman, Ian Botham, said: “Aiden offers confidence and maturity at the top of the batting order and despite being just 23 years old, he has already been recognised by South Africa as a leader in the dressing room.
“It’s great news that we will have Aiden at the beginning of our Championship campaign, especially with Tom Latham, Ben Stokes and Mark Wood all missing due to their international and IPL commitments.
“We’re delighted to have both Aiden and Tom at Emirates Riverside this season and I am confident they will both contribute to what we hope will be a successful season.”
All-rounder will step in next week with Root missing the match to attend the birth of his second child.
The all-rounder left home county Yorkshire earlier this month.
No play was possible on the second morning of the intra-squad match.
Ben Stokes thinks his experience under the captaincy of Alastair Cook and Joe Root will help him succeed in the role himself.
Players had initially been held back.
Australia’s white ball captain Aaron Finch says he’s preparing for September’s tour of England to go ahead.
The West Indies batsman has struggled to live up to early promise.
The star all-rounder is preparing to deputise for father-to-be Joe Root against the West Indies.
This four-day match represents the last opportunity for selection for the first Test against England.