Yorkshire [UK], December 9 (ANI): Yorkshire County Cricket Club has announced the release of batter Gary Ballance from the contract with the team.
"The Yorkshire County Cricket Club has agreed to a request from Gary Ballance to end his contract with the Club," said a statement from the club on Thursday.
The left-handed batsman and England international requested the release following a challenging period on the sidelines, including the challenges he has faced to his mental health. The Club has supported the player extensively during this period.
Ballance's contract had two years to run, until 2024. As part of the agreement, Ballance will not play for another County Championship team in the 2023 season.
Darren Gough, Managing Director of Yorkshire Cricket, said: "We are sad to see Gary go, but he leaves with our best wishes. He has been a mainstay of our side for many years, and a superb batsman. As a Club, we recognise that the last 18 months have been difficult for Gary, for numerous reasons, and the most important thing for him is to get better and play again. He felt he could not do this at Headingley, and we agreed to his request reluctantly but knowing that it was the right decision for him personally."
Gary Ballance said: "It has been a privilege to play for this great Club. On a personal level, I have gone through a challenging period - and after much discussion I decided, together with my family, that it would be right to make a change. I asked the Club if it was willing to release me from my contract, and I am grateful for its understanding as we have reached agreement."
"The support Yorkshire has given me off the pitch over the past year has been fantastic and I am appreciative of the Club's help, but I hope that my decision will mean that my career can have a fresh start," he added.
As per Sky Sports, the batter had also admitted to using a racial slur against Azeem Rafiq, a fellow player in November 2021 and apologized to him in August this year during a meeting with Rafiq.
He was charged by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in June this year for bringing the game into disrepute along with six other individuals and club itself after Rafiq made allegations of racism and harassment at the club.
Gary represented England in 23 Tests from 2014-2017, having scored 1,498 runs at an average of 37.45, with four centuries and seven fifties. He also played 16 ODIs and scored 297 runs at an average of 21.21 with two fifties. He last represented England in 2017.
The batter has a great First-Class record, having scored 11,876 runs in 170 matches at an average of 47.31, with 41 tons and 55 fifties. (ANI)