Durham have been given a huge boost for their next two LV= County Championship matches after announcing the signing of veteran Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara on a short-term deal.
The left-hander has scored over 25,000 runs for his country across all three formats in a distinguished international career, and will move to the reigning county champions for their four-day matches against Yorkshire and Sussex next month.
Sangakkara will be hoping to spend some valuable time at the crease and gain a feel for English conditions before linking up with Sri Lanka ahead of their one-day international and Test series with Alastair Cook's men this summer.
The 36-year-old, who represented Warwickshire in 2007, said: "I'm really looking forward to returning to county cricket with Durham and I'm immensely grateful for the opportunity"
"I actually made my debut for Warwickshire against Durham back in 2007 - I scored a few runs that day so I'm hoping to make amends this time around."
Sangakkara is ninth on the list of the leading Test run-scorers of all time with 11,151 at an average of 58.07, and Durham head coach Jon Lewis is delighted to be welcoming a player of such prestige to the Emirates Durham ICG.
Lewis said "I said that if we could pull off this signing it would be a big bonus and it is.
"To attract a player of Kumar Sangakkara's quality to Durham is fantastic, and I've been really impressed by his eagerness to join us."
"In his short stay, I'm sure he'll be a big asset - not just with his performances, but with the example he will show our crop of fine young cricketers"