Former England batsman Gary Ballance is set to make his Zimbabwe debut later this month after being named in the squad for this month’s three-game Twenty20 series against Ireland on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old left-handed batsman last month signed a two-year contract to play domestic and international cricket in his country of birth following his release from County Cricket County Yorkshire.
He is one of four changes to the 15-man squad that represented Zimbabwe at the T20 World Cup in Australia in September for all three matches against Ireland at Harare Sports Club between January 12 and 15. .
Ballance comes into the squad after Zimbabwe’s key all-rounder Sikandar Raza was cleared by Zimbabwe Cricket to play franchise cricket in Bangladesh this month.
Ballance played 23 Tests for England between 2014 and 2017, scoring 1,498 runs, including four centuries, at an average of 37.45. He also appeared in 16 one-day internationals, but was allowed to change international allegiance.
The Harare-born player spent the last year on the sidelines while dealing with mental health issues after admitting to using racist language against former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.
Yorkshire, who released Ballance two years earlier from his contract according to the player’s wishes, have made sweeping changes following Rafiq’s explosive allegations of institutional racism at the club.
Ballance apologized to Rafiq in person.

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