IRISH international cricketer Ed Joyce has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
The 39-year-old opening batsman played, who played 78 one-day internationals and 18 Twenty20 matches for Ireland, has decided to finish his playing career after finally achieving his ambition of playing Test match cricket for Ireland.
Joyce became famous for playing for two different countries in consecutive World Cups after becoming the first Irishman in the modern game to switch to play for England, in 2005, in a bid to achieve his dream of playing Test cricket. He played 17 one-day internationals for England and two Twenty20 games but he never achieved his goal of playing the long version of the game. However, after failing to be selected for the Test squad, Joyce switched back to Ireland just in time for the World Cup in 2011.
Joyce said: “I feel now is the right time to stop playing and get started on a new chapter. The recent Test match against Pakistan was such an incredible few days and was the perfect game for me to say was my last in professional cricket.
“I am very grateful to Cricket Ireland for giving me the opportunity to get involved in the coaching set-up. I know I have a huge amount to learn about the art of coaching, but I know I also have a huge amount of knowledge that I’m determined to pass on to the next generation of Irish talent.”
Joyce ended an impressive first-class career - with Middlesex and Sussex - ending with 18,461 runs from 255 games at an average of 47.95 with 47 centuries.
William Porterfield, Ireland captain and a long-term teammate said: “It is pretty hard to sum up in just a few words how much of an impact Ed has had on Irish cricket and how much of an all-round great person he is.
“He is the person from my era that showed that being a professional cricketer was a tangible dream across the water. He inspired a whole generation to show that it is possible.
“He is someone that I have always looked up to and to have had the opportunity to play with him for the past few years has been an absolute privilege.”
He added: “He will be a great miss in the changing rooms, not only for his runs, but the person he is. A lot of us, not least the young lads, have learned so much from him.
“He has had such an amazing career that he can be so proud of over the past 20 or so years. For it to culminate in taking the field for Ireland’s first ever Test match was the icing on the cake.”