ZIMBABWE Cricket have confirmed they are in talks with England-based batsman Gary Ballance who is strongly linked with a return to the country of his birth and play for the Chevrons.
Ballance, who previously represented England in 23 Tests and 16 ODIs, is among the players in the diaspora that could be considered to beef up the national team stocks.
Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director Givemore Makoni yesterday confirmed discussions have been taking place with the former Zimbabwe Under-19 batsman.
“We have always wanted to have our players come and play for our team and I can confirm there are discussions currently taking place.
“Obviously we want to strengthen our squad and we are open to engage any player that we think can add value to our game. Of course, with Ballance yes there are discussions.
Once an agreement is reached it will be communicated to all the stakeholders,” said Makoni.
According to the International Cricket Council regulations, Ballance qualifies to play for Zimbabwe as he has not played for his adopted nation since 2017.
ZC are hoping to use the close family relations between current coach Dave Houghton and the 32-year-old Yorkshire opening batsman.
Zimbabwe are also understood to be considering engaging 25-year-old Glamorgan opener Eddie Byrom, who was also born in Zimbabwe.
Byrom also qualifies to play for Ireland since he holds an Irish passport.
Zimbabwe-born pace bowler Dustin Melton has also been linked with an international cricket career with his country of birth after English country cricket side Derbyshire recently confirmed that he would be leaving at the end of the 2022 season.
Zimbabwe have revived their game following the appointment of Houghton as national team coach.
Houghton has scored some early breakthroughs after qualifying for the T20 World Cup and handing Zimbabwe a maiden T20I series win over a high-ranked opposition following the 2-1 win against Bangladesh this week.