Zimbabwe’s Gary Ballance retires from all forms of the game

Former England and Zimbabwe international Gary Ballance has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The stylish left-hander quits the game with five Test hundreds to his name, with the latest one (137 not out) coming in the only Test he featured in for Zimbabwe.

In a statement issued by Ballance in the Professional Cricketers’ Association, he said, “After much thought, I have decided to retire from all forms of professional cricket with immediate effect.” He further added, “I had hoped my move to Zimbabwe would provide me with a new-found happiness for the game and I will always be thankful to Zimbabwe Cricket for providing me with an opportunity to return to international cricket and welcoming me into their team.”

Additionally, the southpaw stated, “However, I have reached the stage where I no longer have the desire to dedicate myself to the rigours of professional sport and it would do Zimbabwe Cricket and the game itself a disservice, should I carry on. I wish them every success going forward.”

Ballance, who had made a switch to Zimbabwe, his birth nation, was heavily implicated in Azeem Rafiq’s explosive testimony during the DCMS parliamentary hearings in Westminster last November after his use of the racial slur “P**i” had been deemed to be “banter” in the initial report into allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire.

Ballance, who played 23 Tests for England after making his debut in 2014 has scored 1498 runs for them – including four centuries and seven fifties. In addition, he also won the County Championship with Yorkshire in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. For Zimbabwe, he appeared in one Test, one T20I, and five ODIs.