Gary Ballance: Yorkshire appoint England Test batsman as new captain

Gary Ballance
Gary Ballance has scored 8,198 runs in first-class cricket, including 29 centuries

Yorkshire have appointed Gary Ballance as their new captain after Andrew Gale retired to become head coach.

The 27-year-old England batsman will skipper the side in all three formats of the game.

Ballance said: "It is an absolute honour to be named the club captain and to follow in the footsteps of some great captains over the years.

"It was impossible to turn down. Being captain is something that I enjoy doing and hopefully I will do a good job."

He made his England debut against Australia in 2014 and has scored 1,413 runs in 21 Test appearances, the most recent in October.

But the out of form left-hander failed to reach double figures in any of his four innings during England's two-Test series in Bangladesh and has not featured in the current series in India, in which England trail 3-0 with one Test remaining.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott has said Ballance "must be soul destroyed" and called for him to be "sent home" from the tour.

"If Gary gets called up [by England], he gets called up, but obviously it looks at the moment as though he's going to have to score a lot of runs for Yorkshire to get a chance again," director of cricket Martyn Moxon told the Yorkshire Post.

"If he scores a lot of runs, it gives us a better chance of winning, and if he does get picked, we'll have someone to take over."

'I will lead by example'

The Zimbabwe-born batsman joined Yorkshire from Derbyshire in 2007 and helped them win back-to-back County Championship titles in 2014 and 2015.

Ballance added: "I'm experienced now, I have played a bit of cricket over the years, so I have seen how different captains work. I think that I am a calm person and like to think that I have a decent cricket brain.

"I'm not a massive speaker, but I will be looking to lead by example on the field and get the lads to follow me."

Gale, 33, led Yorkshire in the Championship last summer, with opener Alex Lees given the chance to lead in white-ball cricket.

"I wanted to take my time when deciding who to appoint as new captain and Gary is the right man to take the team forward," said Gale.

"Gary is respected on and off the field, has a good cricket brain and knows the direction that we would like to take the team in. He has led from the front for many years with the bat and his experience speaks for itself."

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