England’s Gary Ballance welcome to play for Zimbabwe, says Dave Houghton

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Gary Ballance

Townsville – Former England batsman Gary Ballance will be welcomed to play for Zimbabwe should he decide to return to the country of his birth, Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton said on Tuesday.

Harare-born Ballance moved to England as a schoolboy and played 23 tests and 16 one-day internationals before falling out of favour.

The 32-year-old has not played for England since a 2017 test at Nottingham and recently apologized for using racist language against former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq. Houghton said his wife and Ballance’s father were cousins.

Zimbabwe cricket team coach Dave Houghton
“I don’t think Gary would be against coming back to play for Zimbabwe but he’s still got to sort out things in England. “I think he’s probably got another eight to nine good years in him, so if he wants to come back we certainly won’t turn him away.”
Australia coasted to a five-wicket victory in the first one-dyer on Saturday with 16.3 overs to spare.

Zimbabwe have been boosted by the return of all-rounder Sean Williams, who missed the opener with an elbow bruise suffered in the nets.

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