Carberry, the former England opener, joined the club from Hampshire on loan in August, with a brief return to the Hampshire side on T20 Finals Day.
While he has not enjoyed an especially prolific start to life with Leicestershire – he has scored 42 runs in six innings with five single-figures scores and a high of 18 – he is seen as the experienced figure the side requires at the top of the order as they once again seek to rebuild after a disappointing season.
“We have been looking to add an experienced opener to our squad and Michael fits the bill for us,” Wasim Khan, the Leicestershire chief executive, said. “Michael’s first-class record speaks for itself and this, coupled with his international experience and hunger to perform, will add significant value to the development of our younger players both on and off the field. It is great to have Michael with us for the next two seasons.”
Carberry, who will be 37 at the end of this month, is far from the first experienced player signed by Leicestershire in recent times. The likes of Mark Pettini, Neil Dexter, Mark Cosgrove, Paul Horton, Colin Ackerman and Arun Harinath (on loan) have also featured in the Leicestershire top-order this season. All of which raises questions about how much opportunity is actually available to those younger players.
The move brings to an end a Hampshire career that stretches back to 2006. During that time the club won four trophies – two in List A cricket, two in T20 – with Carberry featuring prominently.
He also won England caps in all three formats during that period, most memorably opening on the Ashes tour of 2013-14 when he stood up to the hostility of Mitchell Johnson as well as anyone. He has previously had spells at Kent and Surrey and missed the second half of the 2016 season as he received treatment for cancer.
“Michael has been an outstanding professional for Hampshire,” Hampshire’s director of cricket, Giles White, said. “He has been an integral part of many successful campaigns and has always been a very popular figure at the club. We all wish him well with the exciting challenge at Leicestershire and look forward to seeing him back at the Ageas Bowl in the future.”
Leicestershire have also announced that Clint McKay will not be returning as overseas player in 2017. He has spent the last three seasons with the club but will finish 2017 supporting the coaching staff as Leicestershire look to the future. He claimed 136 first-class wickets for the club at an average of 25.79 apiece, including a best of 6 for 54 against Kent in 2015. He also contributed 1,099 first-class runs at an average of 21.54.
“Clint has been a model overseas player and has made a brilliant contribution both on and off the field,” Wasim Khan said. “On behalf of the club, I’d like to thank Clint for all of his efforts and endeavours.”
George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
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