Last Update: April 19, 2023, 10:30 PM IST
Former England Test batsman Gary Ballance has announced his retirement from cricket just three months after resuming his international career with Zimbabwe.
The 33-year-old Ballance played 23 Tests and 16 One Day Internationals for England but last played for the team in 2017 as he struggled with loss of form and mental health.
He was also caught up in the Yorkshire racism scandal, having apologized last year to Pakistan-born Azim Rafiq for “racist” language he used towards his former team-mate at the county club.
Ballance left Yorkshire last year and signed a two-year deal with his native country, but his return to top-flight cricket was a brief one and he has now stepped down with immediate effect.
The left-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 137 in his only Test appearance for Zimbabwe in February – the last of four Test hundreds scored with England – and also featured in five ODIs and one Twenty20 for the African nation.
“After much thought, I have decided to retire from all forms of professional cricket with immediate effect,” Ballance said in a statement issued by the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
“I hoped that going to Zimbabwe would give me a newfound joy for the sport and I will be forever grateful to Zimbabwe.” Cricket For giving me the opportunity to return to international cricket and welcoming me to your team.
“However, I have reached a stage where I no longer have the desire to dedicate myself to the rigors of the professional game and this Zimbabwean will Cricket And the game itself is a disservice, should I continue.”
(with inputs from agencies)