The former England batter Gary Ballance has agreed a two-year contract with Zimbabwe Cricket to play domestic and international cricket in and for the country of his birth.
This follows the Harare-born left-handed batter’s release from his contract with county cricket side Yorkshire.
Between 2014 and 2017, Ballance featured for England, playing 23 Tests, scoring four centuries at an average of 37.45, as well as 16 one-day internationals.
Before moving abroad, he had starred for Zimbabwe at the ICC Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2006 while still a schoolboy at Peterhouse Boys School in Marondera.
Commenting after ZC contracted Ballance, now aged 33, ZC Director of Cricket Hamilton Masakadza said: “We are elated to have Gary, an immensely talented and experienced cricketer, back home where it all started for him.
“He is a great addition to our domestic and international set-up and we are looking forward to him making a massive difference for us.”
The player himself said he was excited to get the opportunity to represent Zimbabwe.
“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.
“I have kept in touch with a number of people within Zimbabwe cricket over the years and it has been great to watch their recent progress especially.”