Former England batter Gary Ballance will play for Zimbabwe in the upcoming three-match T20I series against Ireland at home, starting later this month. Meanwhile, star all-rounder Sikandar Raza has been granted permission to skip this series and play in the UAE's ILT20.
Ballance, who played 23 Tests and 16 ODIs for England between 2014 and 2017, recently agreed to a two-year contract with Zimbabwe, the country of his birth. The 33-year-old left-hander played Test and ODI cricket for England but is yet to make his T20I debut. In 100 T20s, Ballance has scored 1807 runs at an average of 23.16 and a strike rate of 122.67.
"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,” Ballance said at the time.
"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."
Right-arm paceman Blessing Muzarabani is yet to recover from his quadriceps injury, while wicketkeeper-batter Regis Chakabva and batter Milton Shumba are also missing. Innocent Kaia, Tadiwanashe Marumani and Victor Nyauchi have been brought in as replacements.
All three T20Is will be played at Harare Sports Club on January 12, 14 and 15 before the focus shifts to the ODI series (January 18, 21 and 23).
Squad: Craig Ervine (c), 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.