GARY BALLANCE has not given up hope of an England recall, but insists his primary focus is with Yorkshire after being installed as the club’s new captain.

Having returned from holiday, Ballance netted with his county colleagues yesterday for the first since being appointed as Andrew Gale’s successor last month.

The 27-year-old revealed his pride at being handed the captaincy of the White Rose, and he also set out his ambitions to deliver silverware to Headingley in 2017.

Ballance played the last of his 21 Test Matches during the October series in Bangladesh.

He scored 1, 9, 9 and 5 before losing his place for the subsequent series in India, although he remained a member of the touring party.

The popular opinion seems to be that Ballance will find it hard to regain his place for the summer series against South Africa and the West Indies.

But, while the man himself agrees, he will not be throwing the towel in.

“It is going to be hard,” he said. “But I’ve had a bit of success in the past, and I’d love to play for England again.

“I don’t see why just because I’m captain, I can’t have that chance again. But my main focus is different now. It’s to lead Yorkshire.

“You try not to worry about England stuff when you’re playing for Yorkshire, but in the back of your mind it’s always there.

“As captain, it’s different. You have to think about leading the team and setting the right example.

“Hopefully if I can do that, get the team into winning positions as a batter and captain, the rest will take care of itself.

“I’m still a batsman for Yorkshire at the end of the day. If you score runs, people take notice. Like I said, that will take care of itself.”

Ballance was offered the captaincy by new coach Gale whilst touring India before Christmas.

He took a week to speak to family and friends before accepting, but admitted: “I was 99 percent sure I was going to take it anyway.

“It’s going to be a massive honour.

“I feel like a proper Yorkshireman now. I’ve been here long enough, and I’m really looking forward to the season starting.”

Ballance knows he has big shoes to fill following Gale, who was appointed skipper in late 2009 and went on to win two County Championship titles before retirement.

“He’s done a great job,” said the left-hander. “But I’m excited. I love a challenge.

“We were so close last year in all three comps, and hopefully this year we can go a couple of steps further and get a few trophies.

“I’ll probably be a bit more laid back than Galey - definitely not as vocal.

“I want to be my own man and captain the way I want to, but I’ll also look at the things he did well over the last five or six years and learn from that.”

Ballance has captained both Yorkshire and Zimbabwean side MidWest Rhinos as a locum leader during his career, and he averages 77.57 in nine first-class matches with the bat when skipper.

If he can continue that type of record, he will go a long way to helping Yorkshire as well as reigniting his own international ambitions.

“I think that’s just a case of liking the extra responsibility,” he added.