Former Yorkshire star Gary Ballance signs for Zimbabwe

Yorkshire's Gary Ballance in batting action during the Royal London One Day Cup, semi final at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Picture: Mark Kerton/PA Wire
Yorkshire's Gary Ballance in batting action during the Royal London One Day Cup, semi final at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton. Picture: Mark Kerton/PA Wire

GARY BALLANCE has signed a two-year contract to play both domestic and international cricket in Zimbabwe.

An England international, Ballance was born and raised in Zimbabwe before signing for Derbyshire in 2006.

The 33-year-old moved to Yorkshire in 2008, where he spent 14 years playing cricket.

Earlier this week, Yorkshire announced that they had released Ballance from his contract, after he requested his contract be ended.

Ballance’s release came after he had spent a period of time on the sidelines, facing challenges with his mental health.

The batsman will not play for another LV= County Championship side in the 2023 season, as per an agreement he made with Yorkshire.

“We are elated to have Gary, an immensely talented and experienced cricketer, back home where it all started for him,” enthused Zimbabwe’s director of cricket Hamilton Masakadza.

“He is a great addition to our domestic and international set-up and we are looking forward to him making a massive difference for us.”

Ballance represented England internationally during his career, playing 23 Tests between 2013 and 2017.

Scoring four centuries at an average of 37.45, Ballance also went on to feature in 16 one-day international matches.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Zimbabwe Cricket and can’t wait to start work with some great coaches and talented players,” said Ballance.

“The opportunity to represent Zimbabwe has given me a new-found passion and excitement for the game.

“I have kept in touch with a number of people within Zimbabwe cricket over the years and it has been great to watch their recent progress especially.”