Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Ireland batsman Ed Joyce and pace bowler Tim Murtagh have both decided to retire from Twenty20 cricket due to the fact that the national team are set to play more ODIs and make their Test debut in the near future.
Joyce made his Twenty20 International debut for England in June 2006 before moving to Ireland and playing his first Twenty20 International for them in February 2012.
During his Twenty20 International career with Ireland, Joyce scored 404 runs at an average of 36.72 and represented the country in two World Twenty20 tournaments.
“With potentially more ODIs in the next few years and the possibility of Test cricket in the near future as well, I feel like I’d be able to contribute more in these formats if I stop playing T20,” Joyce said.
Even though the next World Twenty20 will be held in India next year, Joyce feels that Ireland can pose a serious threat with the group of players they currently have.
“Added to this is the emergence of exciting young batsman Andy Balbirnie, so I know the T20 team should be in good hands going forward,” he said.
Meanwhile, Murtagh decided to bring his Twenty20 career to an end as he wants to be at his best when playing county cricket for Middlesex and representing Ireland in other formats of the game.
“I haven’t played much T20 cricket for Middlesex recently,” he said. “There’s such a busy schedule these days, and with a lot of cricket coming up for Ireland and Middlesex, I’m now maybe at an age as a bowler where some formats of the game are having to take priority.”
Ireland’s chairman of selectors Alan Lewis was not surprised by Joyce and Murtagh’s decision to retire, and said: “Wise men make the right decisions at the right time and this is no different. I can’t speak highly enough of both. Both players are the wrong side of 30 ,but the heartening piece for us is their total commitment to the longer formats and ultimately our desire to play Test cricket in the future.”