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Gary Ballance inks new deal with Yorkshire

Gary Ballance has penned a two-year contract extension to remain at Yorkshire until the end of the 2021 season.

The former Yorkshire captain has amassed more than 10,000 runs in first-class cricket, scoring 906 in all last season as the county finished fourth in Division One.

Signed off by Yorkshire for a period of time away from cricket last year due to personal reasons, the 29-year-old said it had been of huge benefit to his game and he can see his future at only one ground – Headingley.

“It’s great to be rewarded with a few extra years. I’ve been here for 11 years now and my aim is to finish my career here,” Ballance told the club’s official website.

“Now I’ve signed the deal I can concentrate on scoring runs for Yorkshire and enjoying the summer.

“I’ve played here for such a long time, I love the lads and everything about Yorkshire, so I’m just focussing on enjoying my cricket,” Ballance said.

A component of England’s merry-go-round Test batting order over the past two years, the Zimbabwe-born left-hander has played in 23 Tests for England. But he explained he was eager to focus solely on Yorkshire and, as a senior member of the team, give guidance to the county’s emerging young cricketers.

“I’m looking forward to the next few years,” he said. “The challenge has become a slightly different one, but there are so many good players, talented guys who have performed well over the last few years.

“They are now ready to take the next step and I’m excited by the direction the club is heading and hopefully it should be a good few years.

“I’ve had some time off, but it has been a busy few years for me. I’ve enjoyed the downtime, feel really refreshed and I’m ready to go.

“I can focus solely on contributing towards winning games of cricket for Yorkshire and hopefully as a group we can go out there and do just that.

“When you play continuously for so long, you can get a bit stale. For me it was good to get away and refresh the mind,” Ballance said.

Yorkshire begin their 2019 campaign with a visit to Trent Bridge to play Nottinghamshire in the County Championship on 11 April.

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