Reports: England’s Gary Ballance considering international switch to home country Zimbabwe

England’s Gary Ballance (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Many foreign cricketers have gone on to represent advanced countries in cricket over the years, probably due to being born in that particular country or permanently migrating over there for a better life. This list includes the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Jason Roy, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Rashid Khan, Ben Stokes, and Usman Khawaja, to name a few.

Gary Ballance happens to be one of them as well, but now the England cricketer is reportedly mulling to take a big call, and that is to end all ties with England and go back to his home country Zimbabwe in order to represent them in international cricket. According to reports, Ballance looked to submit his paperwork switching his allegiance from England to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Gary Ballance to represent Zimbabwe?

This reportedly happened a couple of months before he was charged by the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in June for his alleged involvement in the infamous Yorkshire racism scandal. According to reports in Sportsmail, “Gary Ballance could turn his back on England by making a bombshell international comeback for Zimbabwe”.

“Paperwork regarding the 32-year-old switching his allegiance from England to the south-eastern African nation was submitted to the International Cricket Council (ICC) earlier this year – a couple of months before he was charged by the ECB in June for his part in the Yorkshire racism scandal. The paperwork was not submitted by Ballance,” read the report further.

Ballance, who was born and brought up in Zimbabwe, played five matches for the national U19 team before moving to England in 2006 at the young age of 16 for better prospects. As far as Garry’s international career is concerned, he represented the Three Lions in 23 Tests and 16 One-Day Internationals from September 2013 to July 2017. He is no longer in the scheme to things due to a slump in form for a long time.

Nonetheless, in his short international career, the southpaw managed to complete 1000 runs in just 10 Test matches which made him the third-fastest for an England batter in history. According to the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s rules on changing nationalities, a minimum of three years should have passed for a concerned player to have played for a Full-Member nation, and with no England call-up for more than five years, Gary Ballance is eligible for this criteria.

However, if Ballance does decide about switching nationalities, then he would have to let go of his lucrative Yorkshire contract, which is valid till the end of the 2024 season.

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