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Barnsley hope England centurion Ballance will play for them again

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Thursday 19th June 2014
Gary Ballance. Picture: Getty Images.

Barnsley CC are hopeful Gary Ballance will play for them again one day following his first England century at Lord's on Sunday.


The Yorkshire batsman – who played for the Shaw Laners in 2010 and 2011 and is still registered as their player – made 104 not out at the 'home of cricket' against Sri Lanka in just his second Test.


He secured the ton with a wonderful six after plundering 12 fours. Ballance's knock meant England could declare and set the tourists a total of 390 to chase on the final day.


Sri Lanka got nowhere near that target and lost nine wickets but held on for a draw. "Gary's future is looking very bright and the only way he will be playing for Barnsley in the next few years is if he is coming back from injury," said Shaw Lane skipper Steven Nuttall.


"But I think we might see him back at Shaw Lane one day. I know he had a good time at Barnsley and still keeps in touch with a lot of us at the club. "We're all absolutely delighted that he has got to the top level."


Nuttall went to Leeds Metropolitan University with Ballance and brought him to Shaw Lane alongside Barnsley-born Azeem Rafiq and Halifax fast bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby who has since left the Tykes for Warwickshire. Zimbabwean-born Ballance, now 24, scored more than 1,000 runs and three centuries for the Shaw Laners in 28 games.


Nuttall said: "You could tell he had a little bit of the X factor. "He had a very professional attitude even as a young player and you could tell he was going to go a long way. England are going through a transitional phase at the moment and trying to bring through some young players so Gary has got the chance to be part of that. That hundred has cemented his place in the team for now and he think he could get a lot more."