DALE BENKENSTEIN has left Durham to become the new head coach of Hampshire.
The 39-year-old has spent eight seasons at Durham and was a major part in the county's three County Championship title successes.
He was the first captain to life major silverware for the club with the Friends Provident Trophy in 2007, and is also the club's all-time leading run scorer with 9,055 first-class runs.
He skippered the county for a number of seasons, but spent the winter in South Africa recuperating from a serious shoulder operation, which forced him to miss a large chunk of last summer's action.
During his winter hiatus, he decided he wanted to pursue a career in coaching, with Hampshire approaching him to be their new head coach.
Benkenstein's move to the Ageas Bowl means he will be reunited with former team-mates Ruel Brathwaite and Will Smith, who replaced him as Durham’s captain in 2009.
Durham chief executive David Harker said: "Dale has been a tremendous servant of Durham CCC and is regarded very much as part of the Durham family, therefore, although sad to see him leave we recognise the importance of a move both to Dale and his family and wish him every success in his future career development”.
Benkenstein added: "I have enjoyed being part of the Durham story and the success we have achieved. I would like to express my thanks to Durham CCC for my release to pursue a coaching career."