One of county cricket’s most consistent performers with the bat in hand, ex-captain Gary Ballance remains a linchpin of Yorkshire’s batting line-up.
Ballance, a left-hander with England Test success under his belt, was Yorkshire’s leading Championship run-scorer for three summers in succession between 2017-2019.
Unfortunately, illness meant he missed out on all cricket in 2020, but he will no doubt be back punishing county attacks in 2021.
Born in Harare, Ballance, now aged 31, represented Zimbabwe’s under 19s in February 2006 before moving to England to take up a sports scholarship at Harrow School.
Ballance initially joined Derbyshire as a 16-year-old, a move facilitated by close family friend Dave Houghton, before signing Academy terms at Emerald Headingley ahead of 2008.
He was a two-time Championship winner with Yorkshire in 2014 and 2015 and went on to captain the county for a season and a bit in 2017/18. He relinquished the role and spent a short period away from the game due to anxiety.
He became the third fastest England batsman to reach 1,000 Test Match runs in 2015, in only his 17th innings (on tour in the West Indies) and was only bettered by Herbert Sutcliffe and Len Hutton.
His Test debut came against Australia at Sydney in January 2014, four months after his one-day international debut against Ireland in Malahide.
The last of his 23 Tests, to date, came in mid-2017, while the last of his 16 ODIs came at the 2015 World Cup in New Zealand. He has scored four hundreds and averages 37.45 in Test cricket.
He played first-team cricket for Derbyshire in 2006 and became a Yorkshire regular in 2011. In late 2018 and early 2019, he scored five brilliant hundreds in five Championship matches.