England cap one step closer for Ballance

HARARE - Former Zimbabwe Under-19 international Gary Ballance is one step closer to playing for England after earning his first official call-up to that country’s national side on Thursday.

He has been named in a 14-strong squad for two T20 internationals against New Zealand next week.

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

The left-hander represented Zimbabwe at the Under-19 World Cup in Sri Lanka back in 2006, but has been seen as a future England international for a while since moving to the UK as a 16-year-old schoolboy.

Harare-born Ballance is the nephew of former Zimbabwe captain and coach Dave Houghton.

England squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, capt), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Danny Briggs (Hampshire), Jos Buttler (Somerset), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Luke Wright (Sussex). - Sports Writer

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