ZIM vs WI: Former England batter Gary Ballance on Tuesday scripted history when he smashed a hundred on his Test comeback. The left-handed batter, who switched to play for Zimbabwe in December 2022, smashed a hundred on his Test debut for them in the 1st match against West Indies. In the process, he has achieved a rare feat in the longest format of cricket.
The 33-year-old Ballance is now the only second player in the world to have smashed test centuries for two different countries. He had hit four tons for England and this was his first for his birth origin country- Zimbabwe. Notably, before Ballance, South Africa-born Kepler Wessels was the only other player to have scored centuries for at least two different countries. Wessels had scored a century for Australia in 1982-83 against England. He then moved to his birth country South Africa and smashed a hundred against England in 1994.
Some Cricketers to hit centuries for two different countries:
Meanwhile, there are a few players, who have smashed hundreds for two different countries.
Eoin Morgan- Ireland-born Morgan has smashed centuries for both Ireland and England. The star batter smashed a hundred for Ireland in 2007 before smashing 13 for England in ODIs.
Mark Chapman- Current New Zealand star Mark Chapman is also among those who have hit centuries for two different countries. He smashed a ton for his birth nation Hong Kong in 2015 before hitting for New Zealand in 2022.
Ed Joyce- Ireland-born Joyce has also hit centuries for England and Ireland. He smashed a ton for England in his two-year stint in 2006-07. He then made comeback to Ireland and hit 5 ODI tons for them.
On 9th December, Zimbabwe Cricket announced, "Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is delighted to announce Gary Ballance has agreed a two-year contract to play domestic and international cricket in and for the country of his birth. This follows the Harare-born left-handed batter’s release from his contract with county cricket side Yorkshire.