Gary Ballance made 23 Test appearances for England last decade, but has recently switched allegiances to Zimbabwe and has already featured three times for the African side Zimbabwe when he played white-ball matches against Ireland last month.
Gary Ballance Likely To Play His 1st Test For Zimbabwe
The 33-year-old looks likely to get the chance to show his wares against the red ball in the two-match Test series that commences in Bulawayo on Saturday, after he was named in the 16-player squad to take on the Caribbean side.
If selected it would be Gary Ballance’s first Test since July 2017, when he contributed scores of 27 and four for England during the second Test against South Africa in Nottingham.
Gary Ballance had a contract with Yorkshire until 2024, but he sought to be released. He has pledged not to play for another County Championship side in 2023, but having signed to play as a Zimbabwean, he can now only play county cricket as an overseas player.
Gary Ballance has also featured in 18 ODIs and 1 T20I. He scored 30 in the only T20I against Ireland for Zimbabwe. He also scored 75 runs in the 2 Zimbabwe vs Ireland ODIs. His last appearance in England colours in limited-overs cricket came during the 2015 ODI World Cup.
Sikandar Raza, and Ryan Burl Are Not Included For They Are Away Playing Franchise Cricket While Sean Williams Is Injured
There is no spot for all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl in Zimbabwe’s squad with the duo away playing franchise cricket, while Craig Ervine will fill in for the injured Sean Williams as captain.
Experienced pacers Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani also miss out due to injury, with uncapped quartet Tafadzwa Tsiga, Joylord Gumbie, Kudzai Maunze and Tanunurwa Makoni all in line for a Test debut should they win selection in the final XI.
The 36-year-old Pakistani-born Zimbabwean international cricketer Sikandar Raza, who plays as a batting all-rounder, has received permission from the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) to skip the upcoming Test series against the West Indies to feature in the International League T20 (ILT20) 2023.
He recently missed the T20I series against Ireland due to franchise cricket commitments in the UAE and Bangladesh but returned to the squad for the ODI series against Ireland.
The first Test against the West Indies will be held at the Queens Sports Club from February 4, with the second and final Test at the same venue beginning on February 12.
Zimbabwe squad: Gary Ballance, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine (c), Bradley Evans, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Wellington Masakadza, Kudzai Maunze, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Tafadzwa Tsiga.