LONDON, England (AFP) – South Africa's star batsman Hashim Amla has joined Surrey until the end of the season, the English county side announced on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old will be available for the last six games of the County Championship and is expected to make his debut against Durham on August 22.
Amla, who has previously played county cricket in England for Essex and Nottinghamshire, currently leads the world batting rankings in both Test and one-day internationals.
He has been signed to take the place of his international team-mate JP Duminy, who is due to play for Hyderabad Sunrisers in next month's Champions League Twenty20.
"It is a great pleasure and honour to have been asked by (director of cricket) Alec Stewart to play for Surrey County Cricket Club," Amla told the Surrey website.
"The Kia Oval holds a lot of fond memories for me personally. I look forward to returning there this year and hopefully enjoying similar success."
Surrey are battling to avoid relegation to Division Two of the County Championship and Stewart believes Amla's arrival represents a huge coup.
"I'm very pleased to have secured the services of Hashim Amla, unquestionably a world-class batsman, for the last six games in the LV= County Championship," he said.
"I would like to thank Hashim and Cricket South Africa for the excellent communication and professional manner which has enabled us to complete this deal."