Born in Zimbabwe, where his parents were tobacco farmers, Gary Ballance moved to England during his school years.

After being educated in Zimbabwe at two boarding schools, he eventually moved to England.   

Ballance moved to England after his grandfather flew with the RAF in World War II. He attended Harrow School.

At the North West London school, he was a teammate in cricket with current Glamorgan player Sam Northeast.

A young Ballance, playing for Harrow at Lord’s, showed his talent as a cricketer by scoring a century in opposition to Eton College.

For the 2006 season, he signed for Derbyshire and played exclusively in their second team. Wisden, a cricketing bible, referred to him as a “real prospect”.

He returned to the second XI for another season, and he eventually moved to Yorkshire. There, he signed an academy agreement that allowed him to attend Leeds Metropolitan University. However, he quit after one year.  

His debut was for Yorkshire in 2008. He is a former roommate of Joe Root.

After impressing in the Yorkshire team’s first team, he was chosen for England Lions for their limited-overs tour to Australia in Feb 2013.   

After impressing with Lions in 2013, he was the most prolific Division One batsman. He made his debut for England’s Test side against Ireland in Dublin in September 2013.

Ballance was a lefthanded batsman and failed to impress. He got caught behind the ball without scoring any runs. 

He was selected for England’s side in the Ashes Series against Australia 2013, which he lost to Australia 5-0, despite his poor debut.

Ballance was chosen for the final and fifth tests, scoring 25 runs over two innings. 

Ballance was earning praises at the pitch and especially at county level. But, his life outside the pitch was questioned.

After India beat England in the 2014 test, he was seen looking giddy and topless in a club. It was India’s ninth consecutive defeat.

After telling stunned fans that he was not a cricketer, then 24, the batsman was escorted out of Nottingham. I’m just a drunken b*****d.’  

Ballance, though, was a great player on the pitch. He reached 1000 Test runs for England in just 10 Tests and 17 innings – which is the third fastest time ever recorded in English cricketing history.

His average was 67.93 with five hundreds.   

However, things changed quickly towards the end 2015 with Ballance’s difficult tour against New Zealand.

After being dropped for 14 in England’s bowling match, he was then run out by Australia for 405 runs.

Due to Nick Compton’s bad form in 2016, he was recalled and had a great run against Pakistan.

He was again unable to pass the Bangladesh test, which proved difficult.  

Ballance, who had been able to recover from injuries in Yorkshire for the test against South Africa at Lord’s, was then recalled.

Before a broken thumb prevented him from playing in the final two games, Ballance played both of his tests.  Since 2017, Ballance hasn’t played for England.

Ballance continues to excel at county level despite not being subjected to international pressure. 

In the County Championship’s last three seasons, he is the only one to finish in the top 6 run-scorers. 

Ballance did not play in 2020 because of anxiety, his wife tested positive for Covid-19, and he was then unable to attend the domestic season.

After sustaining a concussion during nets practice, he was unable to play in the 2021 season. 

Ballance spoke out earlier this year to Sportsmail about how his son’s arrival was distracting him from England recall talks. He had impressed with his bat.

He stated, “Playing for England is brilliant. I enjoyed it. The opportunity would be great to get it back. However, you must be physically and mentally fit to play Test cricket. You can’t win if you don’t.

He revealed last year that he wanted to go back to Zimbabwe to play cricket.  

He said to the Telegraph and Argus that he believed they were telling him to keep his eyes open for the future.

“Obviously, I still have family in Zimbabwe.

“My father, my brother, and mum are out there looking for cows. We should be able to get some cows so I will have some income when I retire.

It’s still in its early stages, and my dad just got it started. 

“Hopefully, after a few more years we will get it upto triple figures. “You have to think out of the box!”