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Full name Gary Simon Ballance
Born November 22, 1989, Zimbabwe
Current age 25 years 34 days
Major teams England, Derbyshire, Derbyshire 2nd XI, England Lions, Mid West Rhinos, Yorkshire, Zimbabwe Under-19s
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Education Peterhouse, Zimbabwe; Harrow School
|Test debut||Australia v England at Sydney, Jan 3-5, 2014 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v India at The Oval, Aug 15-17, 2014 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Ireland v England at Dublin, Sep 3, 2013 scorecard|
|Last ODI||England v India at Birmingham, Sep 2, 2014 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Kent v Yorkshire at Canterbury, Jul 11-14, 2008 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Yorkshire v Somerset at Leeds, Sep 23-26, 2014 scorecard|
|List A debut||Derbyshire v West Indies A at Derby, Aug 6, 2006 scorecard|
|Last List A||England v India at Birmingham, Sep 2, 2014 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Yorkshire v Warwickshire at Leeds, Jul 4, 2010 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Yorkshire v Northamptonshire at Leeds, May 16, 2014 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|7, 69||Yorkshire||v Somerset||Leeds||23 Sep 2014||FC|
|99||Yorkshire||v Notts||Nottingham||9 Sep 2014||FC|
|7||England||v India||Birmingham||2 Sep 2014||ODI # 3523|
|61||Yorkshire||v Durham||Leeds||28 Aug 2014||LA|
|64||England||v India||The Oval||15 Aug 2014||Test # 2137|
|37||England||v India||Manchester||7 Aug 2014||Test # 2134|
|156, 38, 0/5||England||v India||Southampton||27 Jul 2014||Test # 2132|
|110, 27||England||v India||Lord's||17 Jul 2014||Test # 2130|
|71, 0/0||England||v India||Nottingham||9 Jul 2014||Test # 2128|
|74, 0||England||v Sri Lanka||Leeds||20 Jun 2014||Test # 2126|
The belief that when one seemingly indispensable player retreats into the background another often rises to the challenge was exemplified by Gary Ballance as he took the chance offered by Jonathan Trott's stress-related illness. In no time, Ballance's nuggety left-handed batting style was providing the backbone of England's line-up. There was nothing overly stylish about his approach, but his discipline and shrewdness was apparent and he could step up the tempo when necessary. Ballance, in the coach's parlance was a batman who Found A Way.
Ballance's reputation began to blossom during a run-rich 2013 season for Yorkshire after which he was selected for England's tour of Australia. He made his Test debut in Sydney at the end of England's 5-0 whitewash and followed up an ODI debut in Dublin the previous summer with further limited-overs forays against Australia.
But it was 2014, as England sought comfort after the loss of Trott, where England found a batsman to sustain them. A maiden Test hundred against Sri Lanka at Lord's was followed by two in successive Tests against India, at Lord's again and Southampton. Only Trott and Andrew Strauss had previously made hundreds in their first two Tests at Lord's; 590 runs in his first 10 Test innings ranked alongside the finest starts to an England career. There was some low-key drunken notoriety as well as he stripped topless in a Nottingham night club to celebrate victory over India at Trent Bridge.
Ballance's roots are Zimbabwean. Aged just 16, he appeared for Zimbabwe at the 2006 Under-19 World Cup, taking three wickets and top-scoring with the bat in a win over England, the country he had already settled on moving to in order to pursue a career. He took up a sports scholarship at Harrow the same year and his relationship to Dave Houghton (who is married to the cousin of Ballance's father), facilitated several appearances for Derbyshire as a schoolboy, including an innings of 73 in a Pro40 game while still aged 16.
At the end of 2007, Ballance signed an academy contract with Yorkshire, allowing him to begin a university course at Leeds Metropolitan University - although he dropped out after a year. He made his Yorkshire debut in 2008, sharing digs for a time with his soon-to-be England colleague Joe Root, but only featured sporadically at first. In 2011, he was one of Yorkshire's better players as they were relegated in the Championship. He added 717 runs at 42.17 in the Championship and 331 runs at 55.16 in the Clydesdale Bank 40, and was rewarded with a two-year contract extension.
During the winter off-seasons, he plied his trade for Mid West Rhinos in Zimbabwe, where he made a big entrance to the 2011-12 season, his second with the team, by cracking the first double-hundred of his career. He passed 1000 first-class runs in only 14 innings during the season and captained Rhinos to the final of the 50-over Coca-Cola Cup competition. It was here that his advancement was most emphatically announced.
As Yorkshire regained their Division One status at the first attempt in 2012, Ballance was again a key figure. His 613 Championship runs included an unbeaten 121 as Yorkshire completed the second-biggest successful run chase in their history against Gloucestershire at Bristol in May, when they knocked off a target of 400 in 110 overs; Ballance clinched victory with a four followed by consecutive sixes. Such performances led to his selection for the England Lions squad for a limited-overs tour of Australia in February 2013, where Ballance made three half-centuries despite the team losing every game. Centuries for the Lions against Australia and Bangladesh A during the 2013 season pressed his case further and led to an ODI debut against Ireland. He made a two-ball duck but 1251 Championship runs, including five hundreds, were enough to win him a place in England's Ashes squad to tour Australia.
Despite growing up on a tobacco farm in Harare, Ballance does have British roots through his grandparents, one of whom flew for the RAF during World War II. He is also distantly related to John Timms, who played for Northamptonshire between 1925 and 1949.
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