Ballance chooses England over Zim
Windhoek – Zimbabwe Cricket have failed to convince batsman Gary Ballance to play for his country of birth after he opted to play for England.
According to recent pronouncements by the English Cricket Board, Ballance will be considered in the forthcoming summer tours in the Twenty20 version of the game and if he proves himself he will stand a good chance of making it into the One-day International squad.
The ECB have included him in the provisional squad that is under consideration for contracts to play for that country.
Ballance (23) recently got temporary British citizenship and has said he would rather play for England.
Zimbabwe’s Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart tried in recent months to initiate dialogue with sportspersons based outside the country to return home.
Ballance played club cricket in Zimbabwe and represented his country a few times at junior level.
He has been in brilliant form in the English county league – arguably the strongest cricket league in the world – where he has scored 15 Test centuries and five ODI centuries.
In his June 23 column for the Telegraph & Argus, Ballance said: “I got a call early last week from England coach Andy Flower, who just said ‘we’d like you to be involved in the Twenty20s against New Zealand’.
“It certainly perked me up after my virus, that was for sure! I wasn't expecting it one bit, so it made it even sweeter.
“I have wanted to play cricket from a very early stage in my life, and you want to play at the highest level possible. To get the call-up was a great feeling and it was a proud moment.
“There are definitely nerves there but I’m going to try and have a bit of fun, enjoy it and show them what I can do. Hopefully it comes off.”