Former England batter named in Zimbabwe's squad to face West Indies

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Former England batter Gary Ballance is in line to play his first Test for his country of birth after he was named in Zimbabwe's squad for their upcoming series against the West Indies.

Ballance made 23 Test appearances for England last decade, but has recently switched allegiances to Zimbabwe and has already featured three times for the African side when he played white-ball matches against Ireland last month.

The 33-year-old looks likely to get the chance to show his wares against the red ball in the two-match Test series that commences in Bulawayo on Saturday, after he was named in the 16-player squad to take on the Caribbean side.

If selected it would be Ballance's first Test since July in 2017, when he contributed scores of 27 and four for England during the second Test against South Africa in Nottingham.

There is no spot for all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl in Zimbabwe's squad with the duo away playing franchise cricket, while Craig Ervine will fill in for the injured Sean Williams as captain.

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Experienced pacers Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani also miss out due to injury, with uncapped quartet Tafadzwa Tsiga, Joylord Gumbie, Kudzai Maunze and Tanunurwa Makoni all in line for a Test debut should they win selection in the final XI.

The first Test against the West Indies will be held at the Queens Sports Club from February 4, with the second and final Test at the same venue from February 12.

Zimbabwe squad: Gary Ballance, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tanaka Chivanga, Craig Ervine (c), Bradley Evans, Joylord Gumbie, Innocent Kaia, Tanunurwa Makoni, Wellington Masakadza, Kudzai Maunze, Brandon Mavuta, Richard Ngarava, Victor Nyauchi, Milton Shumba, Donald Tiripano, Tafadzwa Tsiga.

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