Gary Ballance keen to be back on county duty

Gary Ballance

Gary Ballance

First published in Sport

GARY BALLANCE is ready and willing to help Yorkshire get over the line in the LV= County Championship title race.

The England batsman is keen to play in the last two fixtures of the season against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on September 9 and Somerset at Headingley a fortnight later.

The international summer will have been completed by then, leaving Yorkshire’s hierarchy super confident that the left-hander and his batting colleague Joe Root will be released by Peter Moores.

Before then, Yorkshire have the small matter of tomorrow’s Roses clash with Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford to concentrate on, for which Ballance will not be available due to one-day duty at Trent Bridge.

“I had a few Championship games at the start of the season, and they went well. Since then, the lads have been brilliant. To be top of table with three games to go, to have a chance of winning the title, I wouldn’t say no to being involved,” said Ballance.

“I would really look forward to that.

“I haven’t spoken to England about it. Martyn Moxon just asked me if I would like to play, and I said ‘yes’. That’s all that’s really happened.

“There hasn’t been any further conversations, so we’ll just wait and see.

“It’s been a very busy summer, but I’m feeling fresh. With about another month to go, there’s not too many more games, and with Yorkshire in with a chance of winning the title, I’ll definitely be up for that.”

The stakes could hardly be higher for both leaders Yorkshire and Lancashire, who are bidding to avoid relegation with three matches left.

Yorkshire are six points clear of Notts at the top and Lancashire are six clear of second-bottom Durham, who have four to play. Durham also face Notts, starting tomorrow, at Emirates Durham.

Ballance hit a measured 61 in Yorkshire’s Royal London one-day Cup defeat against Durham at Headingley on Thursday having been released by England. He rejoined their squad at Trent Bridge yesterday for the rest of the ODI’s with India.

Still, he will be keeping close tabs on Yorkshire’s progress at Old Trafford.

“It’s going to be a tough game, but I’m sure that if we play like we can, we’ll give ourselves a chance of winning,” he added.

Yorkshire 14-man squad: Gale (capt), Bairstow (wkt), Bresnan, Brooks, Carver, Fisher, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Pyrah, Rashid, Sidebottom, Williamson.

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