An explosive batter who can also keep wicket, Donald came through at Glamorgan and, aged 19, equalled the record for the fastest double-century in first-class cricket, off 123 balls.
He moved to Hampshire at the end of 2018, but missed back-to-back seasons in 2020 and 2021 with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Donald was part of the squad that won the Vitality T20 Blast in 2022 but he only played 64 times across formats in his five years on the south coast, and was loaned to Derbyshire this summer, featuring twice in the Blast.
“Aneurin impressed us during his short spell with us earlier this year and we were eager to bring him to the club,” Derbyshire’s head of cricket, Mickey Arthur, said. “He’s a powerful batter, capable of taking a game away from you very quickly, and he will also provide cover in the wicketkeeper department, an area we needed depth in.
“He has been a part of a very good Hampshire side, one which has routinely competed for trophies, that’s the kind of player we want to bring to the club as we look to improve.”
Donald, who scored two hundreds as Hampshire reached the final of the 2023 Metro Bank One-Day Cup, said he had turned down other offers in order to join Derbyshire, where he hoped to gain greater first-team opportunities.
“I’m excited to have joined Derbyshire permanently; I know from my loan spell what a great group of players we have at the club and the high standards demanded,” he said. “At this point in my career, I need to be playing cricket and I want to be contributing to success, that’s why I’ve come to Derbyshire, because I believe this is a project I can fit into.
“I had a few options at other counties, but the level of coaching and the project which is happening at Derbyshire really stood out to me. Mickey has spoken to me about his ambition for the Club and I’m looking forward to playing a part in that journey.”
Giles White, Hampshire’s director of cricket, added: “Naturally, we are sad to see Aneurin go, but we understand and support his decision to find consistent game time at this stage of his career.
“Aneurin has been an extremely popular member of the club since he joined in 2019. He is a great team man and over the years he has shifted the course of many games in the team’s favour.
“We wish him nothing but the best for the future as he transitions into another phase of his career and thank him for his wholehearted commitment to Hampshire Cricket since his arrival.”