New Yorkshire captain, who this week passed 1,000 runs for the season, has difficulty distinguishing between red and green
GARY BALLANCE is the most prolific batsman in England — and yet he struggles to see the ball because he is colour blind!
The new Yorkshire captain, who this week passed 1,000 runs for the season, has difficulty distinguishing between red and green.
And when it comes to batting against a pink ball, Ballance reveals he can hardly see it at all.
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The visual impairment makes it all the more remarkable Ballance has scored so many runs in the past six weeks.
But the left-hander’s problem means his hopes of an international recall are significantly reduced because England play three day-night Tests with a pink ball in the next 11 months.
Ballance is consulting an optician in Leeds and testing lenses to try to overcome his difficulties.
If no solution can be found, he is unlikely to skipper Yorkshire against Surrey in the round of pink ball, day-night County Championship matches next month.
Balance, 27, revealed: “I’m colour blind and struggle with green, red, orange. Basically, every colour.
“A red ball against a white sightscreen is absolutely fine but I struggle to see it if there is no sightscreen or if it comes out of red seats when I’m fielding.
“And, when I’ve played against a pink ball, I pick it up and then lose it again as it bounces because, to me, the ball is the same colour as the pitch.
“As a batter, you need to be able to see the ball!
“I’ve been speaking to an optician in Leeds to see if I can get some lenses or if there is anything that can help.
“I’ll practise with the pink ball and hopefully I’ll manage. But if I can’t see it well enough, I’ll probably have to miss that day-night match.”
With a pink-ball Test against West Indies at Edgbaston in August and two more in Australia and New Zealand next winter, Ballance might feel as though the international schedulers are conspiring against his hopes of a return.
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He scored four centuries and five fifties in his first 17 Test innings but has not played for England since failing to reach double figures in two Tests in Bangladesh last October.
Many believe his run-laden start to the summer — which includes four centuries — shows he is the man to fill the batting vacancy that still exists in England’s Test middle-order.
And it must help that many of Ballance’s recent runs have come in front of Test captain Joe Root.
Ballance added: “I’ve always said that I’d love to play for England again, it’s the pinnacle. But I have a different focus now.
“In the past, I tried so hard to score runs for Yorkshire so I’d be picked for England.
“Now I’m trying to put the team into good positions. I wasn’t selfish before but now I have more responsibility.
“I can honestly say I’m not worrying or thinking too much about England. I know when I worry about it too much, it doesn’t help me and can affect the way I play.
“Sometimes, I put too much pressure on myself. I’d had a tough time in Bangladesh, so the Yorkshire captaincy has given me a different goal and I’ve been feeling really good at the wicket so far this summer.
“Joe has been good to me. He knows the right time to see me and make a suggestion. And if I ever need anything, he is one of the first people I go to.”