It has been reported by sportsmail that England batsman Gary Ballance has approached the International Cricket Council (ICC) with the request of completing the formalities for him to switch his national side from England to Zimbabwe might be completed by the end of this year.
Gary Ballance has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons as his name popped up in the Yorkshire racism scandal, for which he later apologized as well, but according to the reports, Ballance’s approach to ICC for switching his national team had been initiated before the Yorkshire scandal broke out.
If and when the formalities are completed, Ballance can be drafted into the Zimbabwe national side straightaway, as ICC guidelines say that there has to be a minimum 3-year gap between a player featuring for two different national sides if he is eligible and in Ballance’s case, since he last featured for England in 2017 itself, the criteria of a 3-year gap has been fulfilled already.
Ballance is a Zimbabwean by birth and he has even represented them at the U19 level in the past. Later, he moved to the UK in search of better cricketing opportunities and landed himself a fruitful county deal with Yorkshire, which allowed him to settle in his cricketing career. The southpaw later went on to play for England in both red ball and white ball cricket.
We should not rule out the possibility and rumor of the return of gary Ballance to @ZimCricketv I can imagine us having him on our batting line-up #TheHoughtonEffect is real
— Jeff Murimbechi (@jeffreydanai) August 3, 2022
Gary Ballance still has a county contract with Yorkshire
Gary Ballance still has a county contract with Yorkshire which will expire in a couple of years’ time, but that contract can be terminated immediately if he switches his national side to Zimbabwe, because he won’t be eligible to feature for Yorkshire as a domestic player in that scenario.
However, by switching his national side, Ballance might give himself an opportunity to play in the ODI World Cup in India next year, if Zimbabwe qualifies for the tournament.
Former England cricket star Gary Ballance (32) could soon make an international switch and start playing for Zimbabwe. Ballance was born and raised in Zimbabwe,playing five matches for the Under-19s side before moving to England in 2006.He played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England. pic.twitter.com/D9H30uowjd
— TheNewsHawks (@NewsHawksLive) August 3, 2022