HAMPSHIRE are 'exploring other options' in case overseas signing Dimuth Karunaratne is handed Sri Lanka’s captaincy for the World Cup.

Karunaratne’s poor one-day international record (190 runs at 15.83) - and the fact he has not added to his 17 ODI caps since the 2015 World Cup - led Hampshire to believe he would not be considered for Sri Lanka’s squad, when they signed him for the first half of the season.

But cricinfo.com has reported that Sri Lanka’s woeful recent form, including a 5-0 ODI series defeat against South Africa, has made him a contender to replace Lasith Malinga.

Karunaratne old cricinfo.com: “The selectors haven’t confirmed anything, but they’ve told me to keep in mind there’s a possibility I could become one-day captain.”

Sri Lanka’s chief selector, Ashantha de Mel, told the Sunday Times that he wanted “to see what Dimuth did for the Test team, with the ODI team”.

Karunaratne will miss some of his Hampshire stint regardless of Sri Lanka’s World Cup plans.

“They’ve asked me to stay back for the provincial tournament,” he told cricinfo. “If I get picked for the World Cup squad, there will be camps and training after that as well, so I might not be able to go to Hampshire in those months.”

Hampshire have released a statement in response to the reports.

It said: "Hampshire Cricket is aware of the reports regarding the availability of overseas batsman Dimuth Karunaratne and the possibility of a recall to the Sri Lankan national side ahead of this summer's ICC Cricket World Cup. The Club is in contact with the player and working to establish his availability for the coming months, whilst also continuing to explore other options should these be required."

Meanwhile, Hampshire star Rilee Rossouw helped Quetta Gladiators defeat Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League final.

Rossouw’s unbeaten 39 (32 balls, five fours) ensured Quetta won by eight wickets against an attack including Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan and not his Hampshire teammate Liam Dawson, who was left out by Peshawar.

Peshawar were restricted to 138-8 and an unbroken stand of 73 from 61 balls between Rossouw and Ahmed Shezad (58 not out) ensured Quetta reached their target with 13 balls to spare.

HAMPSHIRE play their first home match of the year on Friday, when they host Middlesex over two days in a friendly at The Ageas Bowl (10.30am).