Captain Steve Patterson has hailed predecessor Gary Ballance’s impressive return to the game, describing the former skipper as a major asset to Yorkshire.

Ballance missed approximately three weeks of cricket in May due to fatigue like symptoms, and he also stepped away from the captaincy on a permanent basis.

But the England fringe left-hander has returned to batting in mightily impressive fashion.

His comeback game was a Royal London One-Day Cup clash with Leicestershire at Grace Road when he was not required to bat in a big win.

But, since then, he has posted scores of 27, 38, 66, 91, 25, 109, 21, 54, 15, 0 and 79 across all formats – the last of those coming in yesterday’s Vitality Blast defeat against Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.

“We’ve known for years how good Gary is as a player and how consistent he is,” said seamer Patterson.

“He’s had a tough time earlier in the summer, and the captaincy was weighing on him a bit. But I’m happy for him that he can now go out and play with that freedom and not have anything other than batting on his mind.

“It’s shown how good he can be when we get him full of confidence and relaxed.

“He’s been an asset to us for a number of years, and he will be for a long time to come.”

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