Full name Gary Simon Ballance
Born November 22, 1989, Zimbabwe
Current age 24 years 146 days
Major teams England, Derbyshire, Derbyshire 2nd XI, England Lions, Mid West Rhinos, Yorkshire, Zimbabwe Under-19s
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm slow
Education Peterhouse, Zimbabwe; Harrow School
|Only Test||Australia v England at Sydney, Jan 3-5, 2014 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Ireland v England at Dublin, Sep 3, 2013 scorecard|
|Last ODI||Australia v England at Perth, Jan 24, 2014 scorecard|
|First-class debut||Kent v Yorkshire at Canterbury, Jul 11-14, 2008 scorecard|
|Last First-class||Somerset v Yorkshire at Taunton, Apr 13-16, 2014 scorecard|
|List A debut||Derbyshire v West Indies A at Derby, Aug 6, 2006 scorecard|
|Last List A||Australia v England at Perth, Jan 24, 2014 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||Yorkshire v Warwickshire at Leeds, Jul 4, 2010 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Leicestershire v Yorkshire at Leicester, Jul 28, 2013 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|77, 5||Yorkshire||v Somerset||Taunton||13 Apr 2014||FC|
|23||Yorkshire||v Northants||Northampton||8 Apr 2014||Other|
|101||Yorkshire||v Lds-Brd MCCU||Leeds||1 Apr 2014||FC|
|18||England||v Australia||Perth||24 Jan 2014||ODI # 3461|
|26||England||v Australia||Sydney||19 Jan 2014||ODI # 3457|
|9||England||v Australia||Brisbane||17 Jan 2014||ODI # 3455|
|56||England XI||v PM's XI||Canberra||14 Jan 2014||Other OD|
|79||England||v Australia||Melbourne||12 Jan 2014||ODI # 3454|
|18, 7||England||v Australia||Sydney||3 Jan 2014||Test # 2113|
|89, 48*||EPP||v WA 2nd XI||Perth||10 Dec 2013||Other|
Gary Ballance's reputation flowered during a run-rich 2013 season after which he was selected for England's tour of Australia. Although he did not play a Test in England's 5-0 whitewash, he did follow up an ODIU debut against Ireland in Malahide that summer with further limited-overs forays.
Ballance's roots are Zimbabwean. Aged just 16, Ballance 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 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. He topped Yorkshire's CB40 averages with 469 runs at 58.62, including a 91-ball 103 not out against the Unicorns, while his 356 Twenty20 runs included two half-centuries in the Champions League.
These 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.
ESPNcricinfo - January 2014
- Read More