London: If reports are to be believed, England batter Gary Ballance is likely to quit England cricket and play for Zimbabwe in near future. Ballance was charged by the ECB for his involvement in the Yorkshire racism scandal. The papers for Ballance’s switch from England Cricket to Zimbabwe Cricket were submitted to ICC earlier this year, however, Ballance didn’t submit the papers himself, a report in Daily Mail claimed.
If the process is speed forwarded, Ballance could well be seen playing for Zimbabwe in the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia. However, the switch is more likely to happen early next year. The switch is also linked with Ballance’s relationship with Zimbabwe’s head coach Dave Houghton, whose wife is the cousin of Ballance’s father. Dave, who was appointed as Zimbabwe coach in June, has previously spoken about Ballance playing for Zimbabwe in future. The news comes days after Ballance smacked 95 runs off 25 balls in a friendly against Northumberland, his first Yorkshire First XI appearance since September last year.
Ballance was born and brought up in Zimbabwe and also played five matches for their Under-19s side before moving to England in 2006. Ballance played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England between September 2013 and July 2017. His career took off soon after his debut as he became the third fastest England batter to score 1000 runs in Tests. He scored 1,000 Test runs in just 10 matches before he was dropped from the team following a significant dip in form.