Gary Ballance has been granted indefinite leave by Yorkshire after their captain took a break from the game due to “personal reasons”.
The batsman missed Yorkshire’s innings-and-17-run loss to Surrey last week in the County Championship, and though Yorkshire had at the time said Ballance was ill, they have since issued a statement explaining his absence after the batsman was excluded from the squad for the One-Day Cup opener against Durham on Friday, May 18.
“Gary Ballance is set to miss several Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures after the club this week granted him some time away from the game due to personal reasons,” Yorkshire said in the statement. “We ask that his privacy be respected during this time.”
Steve Patterson, the paceman, will take over as captain in Ballance’s absence.
It comes as a blow for Yorkshire. They have had an average start to their Division One campaign, and are currently placed fifth after two wins and as many losses in five games.
Essex bowled them out for 50 – their lowest score in 40 years – earlier this month, and though they bounced back to win the match by 91 runs, the defeat at Surrey last week was a stinger.
TEAM NEWS: Yorkshire have named a 13-man for the trip to the North East, with Gary Ballance missing the first of several RL50 games away due to personal reasons. Steve Patterson skippers the side in his absence.#YourYorkshire pic.twitter.com/1PPHmx3672
— Yorkshire CCC (@YorkshireCCC) May 17, 2018
It’s been a tough period for Ballance individually as well. So far in the Championship, he has scores of 0, 82, 11, 19 22 and 3.
Despite England’s struggles with the bat during the Ashes, Ballance was on the bench for the five Tests, and he was subsequently dropped from the squad for the two-Test series in New Zealand in March.
Ballance averages 37.45 in 23 Tests so far, with four centuries and seven half-centuries, but played his last Test in July 2017 at Trent Bridge against South Africa after a poor run that yielded a top score of just 34 in 11 Test innings.