Gary Ballance named in Zimbabwe’s T20 squad after switching allegiance | Cricket news

Former England player Gary Ballance will make his debut in Zimbabwe later this month after he was named Wednesday in the squad for this month’s three-match Twenty20 series against Ireland.
The 33-year-old left-handed hitter last month signed a two-year deal to play domestic and international cricket in his country of birth after he was released from the Yorkshire county cricket team.
He is one of four changes made to the 15-man team that will represent Zimbabwe at the T20 World Cup in Australia in September for three games against Ireland at Harare Sports Club from January 12-15.
Ballance comes 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 has also appeared in 16 one-day international matches but has been allowed to change his international allegiance.
The Harare-born player spent last year sitting on the sidelines while dealing with mental health issues after admitting to using racist language towards former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq .
Yorkshire, who released Ballance two years early on the player’s wishes, made sweeping changes following Rafiq’s explosive allegations of a racist regime at the club.
Ballance personally apologized to Rafiq.


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