ZIM vs IRE | England’s Gary Ballance to make Zimbabwe debut in Ireland T20Is

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Gary Ballance, who played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England between 2014 and 2017, is set to return to international cricket after being included in Zimbabwe's squad for the upcoming T20I series against Ireland. He is one of the four changes made by Zimbabwe from their T20 World Cup squad.

Gary Ballance was born in Harare and played for Zimbabwe at the 2006 Under-19 World Cup. Then he moved to UK and played for the English county Yorkshire, before representing England in both white-ball and red-ball cricket. However, following a racism scandal, Ballance was released early from his county contract. Last month, the 33-year-old signed a two-year deal with Zimbabwe and is now set to make his debut for the country where his journey began.

Meanwhile, Sikandar Raza, one of the nominees of ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year, will not feature in the Ireland series after Zimbabwe Cricket granted him permission to play franchise cricket in the inaugural International League T20 (ILT20), based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pacer Blessing Muzarabani will not play the Ireland T20Is as well after picking up an injury, while Regis Chakabva and Milton Shumba have been dropped following their woeful outings in Australia during the last T20 World Cup.

Along with Ballance, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Innocent Kaia and Victor Nyauchi are the new additions to the squad.

The T20 matches will be played on January 12, 14, and 15, which will be followed by a three-match ODI series.

Zimbabwe T20 squad for Ireland T20Is: Craig Ervine (c), Gary Ballance, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessely Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sean Williams.

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