Gary Ballance named in Zimbabwe T20 squad after switch of allegiance | Cricket News – Times of India

Former England batsman Gary Ballance is set to make his Zimbabwe debut later this month after he was named on Wednesday in the squad for this month’s three-match Twenty20 series against Ireland.
The 33-year-old left-handed batter last month signed a two-year contract to play domestic and international cricket in the country of his birth following his release from county cricket side Yorkshire.
He is one of the four changes made to the 15-man side that represented Zimbabwe at the T20 World Cup in Australia in September for the three matches against Ireland at the Harare Sports Club between Jan. 12-15.
Ballance comes into the side after Zimbabwe’s key all-rounder Sikandar Raza was given permission by Zimbabwe Cricket to play franchise cricket in Bangladesh this month.
Ballance played 23 tests for England between 2014 and 2017, scoring 1,498 runs, including four centuries, at an average of 37.45. He also appeared in 16 one-day internationals but has been allowed to switch his international allegiance.
The Harare-born player has spent the last year on the sidelines while dealing with mental health issues after he admitted to using racist language against former Yorkshire team mate Azeem Rafiq.
Yorkshire, who released Ballance two years early from his contract as per the player’s wishes, have made sweeping changes following Rafiq’s explosive allegations of institutional racism at the club.
Ballance has apologised to Rafiq in person.

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