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Ireland central contract for Ed Joyce

Ed Joyce wants to play Test cricket for Ireland
Ed Joyce wants to play Test cricket for Ireland

Cricket Ireland confirmed that Ed Joyce has accepted a central contract as they strive towards attaining Test status.

The 38-year-old made a switch to Ireland from England in 2011 and has been an integral part of their batting line-up since then. Apart from the full-time contract, Joyce has also accepted to be part of the Inter-Provincial series.

Commenting on the decision, Joyce said the desire to be part of a Test match for Ireland highly motivates him and is hoping to continue their good run in international cricket.

"Coming back to play full-time for Ireland and also play in the Inter-Provincial series was a big decision but also quite an easy one in the end. Test cricket is the pinnacle for any cricketer," said Joyce.

"Ireland has a huge opportunity in the next few years to play at the highest level and I want to be part of the team that plays Ireland's first test match.

"With Ireland's fixture list growing year on year it makes sense to come back at this stage."

"Also now that the interpros have first class and list-A status, I wanted to be involved right from the start and lend my experience to that competition.

"We're at the stage where we need to be more consistent and competitive as an international side and we also require the interpros to improve and provide a steady stream of players ready to perform well for Ireland. My focus in the next few years while I'm still playing, is to help us achieve both of these goals.

"It's a really exciting time to be an Irish cricketer and I can't wait for the 2017 season to get going."

Joyce, however, has been allowed to play as a Sussex player, whenever required in the County Championship.

Apart from Joyce, nine other players have been full time contract while nine other players who are those with other employers, such as county cricketers have accepted on category B contracts.

Category A:
John Anderson (Merrion/Leinster Lightning, Andrew Balbirnie (Pembroke/Leinster Lightning), Peter Chase (Malahide/Leinster Lightning); George Dockrell (Leinster/Leinster Lightning); Ed Joyce (Leinster Lightning), Andrew McBrine (Donemana/NW Warriors), Jacob Mulder (CIYMS/Northern Knights), Kevin O'Brien (Railway Union/Leinster Lightning), Stuart Thompson (Eglinton/NW Warriors), Craig Young (Bready/NW Warriors).

Category B:

Barry McCarthy (Durham/Leinster Lightning), Tim Murtagh (Middlesex), Niall O'Brien (Leinster Lightning); William Porterfield (Warwickshire), Stuart Poynter (Durham/Leinster Lightning), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Paul Stirling (Middlesex), Greg Thompson (Waringstown/Northern Knights), Gary Wilson (Derbyshire/Northern Knights).

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