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Yorkshire bemused by Ballance's England Lions call
YORKSHIRE chief executive Mark Arthur has branded the decision by England to pick Gary Ballance for three Lions matches against Bangladesh A later this month as baffling.
The White Rose county will be without the in-form left-hander for their next LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge as a result, starting on August 21, because the selectors see a three-match one-day series as more important to his development.
Ballance was an integral part of the Lions’ winter one-day plans in Australia earlier this year, and earned a call-up to England’s senior Twenty20 squad for their series against New Zealand earlier this summer without playing.
Yorkshire have been heavily depleted by England calls at two levels already this summer, with three players currently on Ashes Test duty and five in the England Under-19s squad.
“First of all, we’re pleased for Gary when his obvious talent is recognised,” said Arthur.
“But from a Yorkshire perspective, we are baffled as to why those in the England set-up should believe that it’s better for his development to be playing in a one-day game against Bangladesh A rather than in a Championship match at the business end of the season.
“I think that England know everything they need to know about Gary Ballance, that he’s an exceptional talent. One day he will be playing for, hopefully soon, the full England team.
“We understand if Gary was called into the full England team, we’d say ‘great, good luck’. But not to play a Lions game against Bangladesh A.
“I just think they need to rethink the policy because the County Championship is very important to so many people in this country. We have to be very careful that we don’t compromise the integrity of it.
“I understand their obligations to entertain A teams over here if we want to go overseas in the winter. But there has to be some common sense. It is going to affect the integrity of Championship cricket. What’s it all about?”
Yorkshire won a thrilling 50-over friendly against Bangladesh A by seven runs at Headingley yesterday. Defending 199 after being bowled out for 198, Azeem Rafiq took a career best 5-30 to help bowl the visitors out for 191.
Both sides struggled against spin. Yorkshire lost 6-49 through the middle of their innings to slip from 99-2, while the Bangladeshis lost their way having been well placed at 116-2. Liam Plunkett, who had hit an unbeaten 47, took the last wicket to clinch the win with 35 balls to spare.
The Vikings return to Yorkshire Bank 40 action against Leicestershire at Grace Road tomorrow.
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