Gary Simon Ballance
Gary Simon Ballance
November 22, 1989. Harare, Zimbabwe
Left Hand Bat. Leg Break Bowler
First Class: July 11, 2008. Yorkshire v. Kent at Canterbury
2nd XI Cap: 2009
Batsman Gary Ballance is fast turning into a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the limited overs arena. But do not underestimate the left-hander’s ability in four-day cricket either because he has already returned a host of crucial contributions during the last two seasons for Yorkshire.
Born in Zimbabwe, the nephew of ex-Test wicketkeeper and international coach David Houghton joined Derbyshire’s books as a 16-year-old before signing Academy terms with Yorkshire ahead of the 2008 summer.
Despite having played for Zimbabwe under 19s at the World Cup in February of 2006, the destructive left-hander has qualified for England and graduated from their Performance Programme camp to the England Lions squad, touring Australia in February of 2013.
Ballance played under current Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie with the MidWest Rhinos in Zimbabwe during the winters of 2010/11 and 2011/12, and he scored four first-class hundreds for them before his first for Yorkshire in 2011.
In fact, ten of his first-class hundreds to date have come for the Rhinos, including a career best 210.
But arguably the best knock of his career came in Yorkshire’s County Championship promotion campaign of 2012 when his unbeaten 121 helped the county chase down 400 to beat Gloucestershire at Bristol.
Ballance also starred at the Champions League t20 competition in South Africa with half-centuries against Trinidad and Tobago and Chennai Super Kings.
Captain Andrew Gale has tipped him to play for England in all forms of cricket.
2006 - Scored 211 runs, including two fifties, and took five wickets with his part-time spin in seven matches for Zimbabwe under 19s at the World Cup in Sri Lanka in February. Made his second and first XI debuts for Derbyshire, scoring 48 against a West Indies A side in the latter in August.
2007 - Scored two second XI Championship hundreds for Derbyshire against Nottinghamshire and Northamptonshire in August, the second and third of his career, before leaving for Yorkshire at the end of the season.
2008 - Made an inauspicious start to his County Championship career when making one and five on debut against Kent at Canterbury in July, and had to wait until the following September for his next appearance.
2009 - Made an encouraging 33 in a 40-over match against Essex at Headingley in September, the match in which Joe Root debuted.
2010 - Back in the Championship side for a defeat against Somerset, making four and 31 not out off 22 balls - a sign of his destructive nature. Posted an unbeaten 48 in a Twenty20 win - the third of his career - against his former county in July before notching his maiden first-class hundred for the Rhinos in October, the first of five for them in four months.
2011 - Notched ten first-class fifties for Yorkshire before scoring his first Championship century - 111 - against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in late August. Followed that with a career best 210 for the Rhinos five weeks later.
2012 - After scoring a stunning 121 not out against Gloucestershire in the Championship win at Bristol in May, he posted his maiden List A century for the county - his fourth in all - against the Unicorns at Scarborough later in the month. Having been awarded his county cap, captained Yorkshire during a CB40 match against Warwickshire in August before lighting up the Champions League t20 with two brilliant fifties in October.
2013 - Earned a place in the England Lions squad for their one-day tour of Australia in February and March.
150th Year Celebration
2 Sep 2013
Abbeydale Sports Club, Sheffield