Former England international Gary Ballance has signed a two-year contract with Zimbabwe in a bid to revive his career.
Ballance had not played for Yorkshire since September 2021 following allegations of racism from his former teammate Rafiq having admitted calling him a “P***”. In a lengthy statement released in November last year, he said he ‘deeply regrets some of the language I used in my younger years’.
Rafiq and Ballance met in person earlier this year, with Ballance offering an unreserved apology for his use of “unacceptable” and “racist” language.
The left-hander represented England in 23 Tests and 16 ODIs but it was certain he was not going to get another chance again regardless of how well he does in the domestic circuit.
Gary Ballance was born in Harare, making him eligible for the African nation and even represented Zimbabwe at the U19 level in the 2006 World Cup.
He later switched allegiance to England appearing for them between 2013 and 2017.
Cricket Zimbabwe, confirmed that Ballance was back in contention for international matches.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Zimbabwe Cricket and can’t wait to start work with some great coaches and talented players,” Ballance said.
“The opportunity to represent Zimbabwe has given me a new-found passion and excitement for the game.”
Zimbabwe has enjoyed plenty of success in recent times, even beating Pakistan in the recently conducted T20 World Cup.
With a proven international in their midst, they may cause a few more surprises.