England's opener Gary Ballance requests ICC to change his country from England to Zimbabwe
It has been learned that Gary Ballance has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) to complete all the formalities in order to change his national team from England to Zimbabwe. As per the report from Sportsmail, these formalities are likely to be done by the end of this year.
Notably, earlier, the left-hander was also in the news due to some shameful incidents . His name came up in the bizarre Yorkshire racism scandal. As a result, he also apologised later on. But as the report suggested, his request for the change in the country was made prior to this incident.
After all of the formalities are completed, Ballance will be able to change his nationality to Zimbabwe and play for them at the international level. According to the ICC law, a player who is willing to change his country must have at least a three-year gap between both national sides. And in his case, he played his last game for England in 2017, so that 3-year criteria is not an issue.
However, this will not be the first time that the left-hander will play for Zimbabwe. In fact, he was born in Zimbabwe and has represented that country at the U19 level. But in search of a better career in cricket, he shifted to the UK and got a career-changing county option with Yorkshire.
It helped him to grow more in the game and also helped him to get a chance to play for England at international level in both formats. Furthermore, Ballance is still on a contract with Yorkshire, which will end after a couple of years.
But if he switches his country, his contract can be ended at that moment as well, because he can't play for Yorkshire as a local player in that case. But it will provide many other opportunities for the left-hander. After switching his country, he can even play in the ODI World Cup in 2023, if Zimbabwe is able to qualify for that.
Former England cricket star Gary Ballance (32) could soon make an international switch and start playing for Zimbabwe. Ballance was born and raised in Zimbabwe,playing five matches for the Under-19s side before moving to England in 2006.He played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England. pic.twitter.com/D9H30uowjd— TheNewsHawks (@NewsHawksLive) August 3, 2022