Gillespie's delight as Ballance captures more attention

LONDON - Jason Gillespie believes Zimbabwean-born Gary Ballance can become the next Yorkshire player to earn full international honours after revealing the batsman spent yesterday training with England.

The 23-year-old Zimbabwean-born has enjoyed an impressive start to the 2013 domestic season in both the Championship and YB40 cricket.

In the four-day game, Ballance already has three half-centuries to his name along with a season’s best score of 107 against Somerset at Headingley earlier this month.

England selectors James Whitaker and Geoff Miller were both in Leeds to watch the Zimbabwe-born left-hander put on 207 with Adil Rashid for the fifth wicket to set Yorkshire up for what, but for the weather, would have surely been a home win.

With Ballance also leading the White Rose averages in 40-over cricket with 160 runs from three innings, he was yesterday invited to join the rest of the England party preparing for tomorrow’s second Test.

First-team coach Gillespie, who spent yesterday putting the White Rose squad through their paces at Weetwood ahead of next week’s return to competitive action, told the Yorkshire Post: “Gary has the talent and the desire to play at international level.

“He is training with England at the moment, which is great for him. He is being looked at and being recognised for the performances that he has had for Yorkshire.

“I feel that is really important. Performances at county level are and should be noticed. If Gaz continues to keep churning out runs then an opportunity may arise for him some way down the track.”

Ballance spent last winter touring Australia with the England Lions and he impressed by posting an average of more than 50 despite the party failing to win a game.

In the wake of the tour, he was tipped to one day win senior honours by ECB performance director David Parsons.

Gillespie added: “Gary has had a good start. He gives himself every chance. Gaz is a very good cricketer and is very knowledgeable about the game. He has a great cricket brain and reads situations really well.

“Whether that be with the bat in his hand or out in the field. He is a really good ally for Andrew Gale as captain. He understands and finds a way to score runs.

“Gaz has played some really important innings.

“He has batted at five and also at four in the one-dayers, which we think is good for him and good for Yorkshire.

“Last year, he played every single game in all forms of cricket. He is a good, consistent cricketer at the moment.” -  Yorkshire Post

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