Gary Ballance becomes second cricketer to hit Test centuries for two different countries 

England Lions v South Africa
Gary Ballance while representing England in the past (GETTY IMAGES)

Gary Ballance has become only the second cricketer to hit centuries while representing two different countries in Test cricket. Ballance achieved the feat after hitting a hundred in his debut game for Zimbabwe against West Indies on Tuesday (February 7).

Kepler Wessels was the first cricketer to do so, as he hit centuries while representing Australia and South Africa between 1982-1994.

Gary Ballance represented England between 2014 and 2017. The southpaw then moved to his native country of Zimbabwe after opportunities dried up for him in the England Test team.

In the first Test against West Indies, Gary Ballance came to bat at No. 5 and hit a fluent century to help push Zimbabwe's total near the opponents' 447/6 in the first innings. He gelled well with lower-order batters and constructed vital partnerships en route to his century. Brandon Mavuta (56) assisted him with a gritty half-century while batting at No. 9

Ballance remained unbeaten on 137 in the first innings as Zimbabwe declared their innings at 379/9 on day 4. They still trail the West Indies by 68 runs.

"The opportunity to represent Zimbabwe has given me a new-found passion" - Gary Ballance

After recently signing a two-year deal to play for Zimbabwe, Ballance was enthusiastic about the new opportunity. In a statement, he expressed excitement about uniting with the Zimbabwe cricket team and stated that it has reignited his passion for the game. Ballance said:

"I'm thrilled to be joining Zimbabwe Cricket and can't wait to start work with some great coaches and talented players. The opportunity to represent Zimbabwe has given me a new-found passion and excitement for the game."

He added:

"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."

Ballance last played for England in 2017 in a Test against South Africa in Nottingham. Across 23 Tests for England, he scored 1498 runs at an average of 37.45, hitting four centuries and seven half-centuries.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar