Gary Ballance retires from all forms of cricket

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Former England batter Gary Ballance has announced his retirement, just three months after resuming his international career with Zimbabwe.

Ballance, 33, played 16 Tests and 23 ODIs for England but last featured in 2017 as he battled loss of form, struggles with mental health and damaging accusations in the Yorkshire racism scandal.

He left Yorkshire last year and signed a two-year deal with his native country, but his return to top-flight cricket was a brief one and he has now walked away with immediate effect.

Ballance scored an unbeaten 137 in his only Test appearance for Zimbabwe – adding to the four he made with England – and also featured in five ODIs and one T20.

Despite promising returns, Ballance concluded the time was right to leave the game behind.

In a statement issued via the Professional Cricketers’ Association, he said: “After much thought, I have decided to retire from all forms of professional cricket with immediate effect.

“I had hoped my move to Zimbabwe would provide me with a new-found happiness for the game and I will always be thankful to Zimbabwe Cricket for providing me with an opportunity to return to international cricket and welcoming me into their team.

“However, I have reached the stage where I no longer have the desire to dedicate myself to the rigours of professional sport and this would do Zimbabwe Cricket and the game itself a disservice, should I carry on. I wish them every success going forward.”

Gary Ballance became only the second player in history to score Test centuries for two different countries after his ton for Zimbabwe against West Indies in February, having previously done so for England

Prior to his move to revive his international career with Zimbabwe, Ballance accepted the Cricket Discipline Commission charges against him in relation to claims of racist behaviour at Yorkshire.

Ballance admitted his guilt to five charges, including the use of racist language in January.

The left-hander, who was part of the Yorkshire teams which won the County Championship in 2014 and 2015 said will cherish the memories from his playing career .

“I have been fortunate to have some incredibly memorable moments in cricket, winning County Championships with Yorkshire and gaining the ultimate honour of representing England and Zimbabwe. I want to thank all of my clubs, coaches, support staff, teammates and supporters for their guidance and encouragement over my career, it has been a privilege.

“It is now time for me to move on to the next chapter of my life. I will be making no further comments on my decision at this time,” he said.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Well done Gary,

    Once you’ve grown up with the Zambezi Ballance in your bones it must be difficult to witness all the issues international professionalism can get their nickers tied in a knot over.

    Thank you for being the ultimate example of Zim skill, modesty, determination and international sportsmanship. It seems to me that with all the odds against you overseas once the nepotism, WOKE, chirping, press and old guard woke up, you still managed to play on in the good old fun way, ensuring a balance between taking things too seriously and too socially so that you keep the success and fun balance your country and your family is so renowned for.

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