Ed Joyce, Tim Murtagh Announce T20I Retirements
Ireland’s premier batsman Ed Joyce and fast bowler Tim Murtagh have announced their retirements from Twenty20 Internationals.
Divulging his retirement decision, Joyce is targeting to be more consistent in One-Day Internationals for Ireland while also hoping to represent the Associate nation in Tests when the status is granted to his team.
"I feel now is the right time to concentrate on the two longer formats of the game for Ireland," said Joyce
"With potentially more ODI's 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 20/20.”
Joyce is confident that he is leaving the T20I format with Ireland’s batting in safe hands with a lot of impressive talents around in the team.
The elegant left-hander was particularly impressed by young batsman Andy Balbirnie who impressed one and all in the World Cup with his flamboyant batting.
"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."
Having represented Ireland in 18 T20Is, Joyce’s batting average of 33.75 is the highest by a player from his side in the format.
Fellow teammate Murtagh too echoed Joyce’s feelings while revealing his decision to retire from the shortest format of the game.
The 33-year-old pacer attributed his exposure in T20Is to his county stint with Middlesex where he made a strong impact with the ball.
Recognizing that his body will not respond as it used to in his youth, Murtagh wants to be selective in the formats that he plays in to conserve his energy and fitness.
"I haven't played much T20 cricket for Middlesex recently,” said Murtagh.
“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.
"I've been hugely grateful to have been given the chance to play T20 international cricket for Ireland and I'm certainly looking forward to hopefully playing many more games in the other formats."
Murtagh has represented Ireland in seven T20Is snaring 18 wickets at a fine average of 21.22.
Chairman of selectors Alan Lewis was lavish in his praises as hailed the tremendous commitment of both outgoing players.
Reacting to the decisions made by the two veteran players, Lewis hailed the sensible approach taken by the duo.
"It came as no surprise that Ed and Tim have announced their retirements from T20 international cricket,” said Lewis.
"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.
"Wise men make the right decisions at the right time and this is no different.”
Praising the contributions of Joyce and Murtagh in T20Is for Ireland, Lewis lauded the efforts taken by the two for the associate nation over the years.
“I can’t speak highly enough of both.
"They are hugely valuable to us in the longer formats and when you also consider their county commitments their decision is fully understandable."
Ireland’s squads for the T20I series against Scotland and the World Twenty20 Qualifiers are expected to be named on Friday.
© Cricket World 2015