Ireland’s record-breaking international batsman Ed Joyce has announced his retirement from cricket.
Joyce celebrated a long and accomplished career by appearing in his country’s first-ever Test match recently against Pakistan. He scored four in the first innings but produced a solid 43 off 98 balls in the second innings as Ireland lost by five wickets, but took much credit from the match.
The 39-year-old scored the highest score in Irish first-class cricket with his 231 against the United Arab Emirates in 2015.
Joyce will be moving into coaching, and his decades of experience will be invaluable in his new role on Ireland’s coaching staff.
‘I feel now is the right time to stop playing and get started on a new chapter,’ said Joyce. ‘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’d batted twice in a day not many times in my career, especially not in that kind of pressure, in a home Test match with a lot of eyes on you worldwide to see how you’re going to go. There were a lot of people saying we could get bowled out again for 130. We managed to fight through to the end of play that day with a bit of luck and I was proud that we showed a bit of fight at the end of the third day. That’s all that Graham Ford asked of us was to show a lot of fight and we also showed a lot of skill.’
Former Sussex captain Joyce ends his playing career with the leading batting average for Ireland in international matches.
He also played in 17 ODIs and two T20 matches for England between 2005 and 2011.
After returning to the Ireland fold, he was part of the side that beat England at the 2011 World Cup in India.
Joyce will now join Ireland’s coaching set-up as performance batting and leadership coach.
‘I am very grateful to Cricket Ireland for giving me the opportunity to get involved in the coaching set-up,’ he added. ‘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 enjoyed a 16-year county cricket career at Middlesex and Sussex, helping both sides to various county titles.
He scored 18,461 first-class runs (average 47.95) in a career that spanned 21 years, with a highest score of 250.
Joyce suffered a unique dismissal in a 2009 Championship game against Warwickshire. He was once out, caught by Jonathan Trott’s pocket, after sweeping a ball from Pretoria-born Ant Botha into the trouser pocket of Trott, fielding at short-leg – which just shows that one should never take chances against South African-born cricketers.
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