Yorkshire star Gary happy to regain Ballance in his life after making return to cricket

Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance admits he’s happy to get some kind of normality back into his life after celebrating a return to cricket with some runs in Yorkshire’s victory at Sussex.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 4:24 pm
Yorkshire's Gary Ballance hits out - Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Ballance’s second-innings 74 was Yorkshire’s highest score of the game at Hove as they won by 48 runs, in the former England batsman’s first competitive knock for his county since September 2019.

He missed the entirety of the coronavirus-affected 2020 season due to personal reasons, and was then ruled out of the first two games of this current campaign due to concussion protocols after a freak accident in the practice nets.

“I’ve missed it, and it’s nice to be back,” said Ballance, who will hope to make up for lost time this week when Yorkshire return to Headingley to face Northamptonshire looking to build on their unbeaten start to the County Championship campaign.

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“To be honest, it didn’t feel like I hadn’t played for a while; I played a few of the pre-season games and spent a lot of time in the middle.

“I felt really good coming into this season. Missing the first two games was certainly frustrating, but, in a six-month season, with so much cricket, it’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things.

“Last year was a bit of a freak year for me, and it’s great to get some normality in life again, to play cricket again and to really enjoy playing cricket.”

Sheffield’s Joe Root will sit out the Northants game and is expected to be replaced by Will Fraine, who scored 186 in Yorkshire’s second team game against Gloucestershire.

After three games, Yorkshire are second in the County Championship group three table – narrowly behind their old foes, Lancashire – and are gunning for a first four-day title in 2015, when Ballance played a key role.

“Two wins on the bounce will give us great confidence,” Ballance, who played 23 Test matches for England, added.

“On paper we’ve got a really good squad. I feel like we do cover all bases.

“But it doesn’t matter what’s on paper, you’ve got to put the performances in.

“We’ve got to keep backing up the performances and look to get better.”