Gary Ballance in Zimbabwe squad for T20I series against Ireland

Ballance, the 33-year-old left-hand top-order batter who played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England between 2014 and 2017, signed the contract with Zimbabwe, the country of his birth, in December last year following his release from county cricket side Yorkshire.

“I’m thrilled to be joining Zimbabwe Cricket and can’t wait to start work with some great coaches and talented players,” Ballance said at the time. “The opportunity to represent Zimbabwe has given me a new-found passion and excitement for the game.

“I have kept in touch with a number of people within Zimbabwe cricket over the years and it has been great to watch their recent progress especially.”

Apart from Raza, all the regulars are in the mix for Zimbabwe, with captain Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara and Richard Ngarava all included.

The three T20I matches will be played on January 12, 14 and 15 at Harare Sports Club. These will be followed by the three-match ODI series, with those matches scheduled for January 18, 21 and 23, also in Harare.

Zimbabwe T20I squad for series against Ireland: Craig Ervine (capt), Gary Ballance, Ryan Burl, Tendai Chatara, Bradley Evans, Luke Jongwe, Innocent Kaia, Clive Madande, Wessly Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumani, Wellington Masakadza, Tony Munyonga, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Sean Williams.

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