Joyce given permission to play for Ireland
The ICC today confirmed that Ed Joyce has been granted special dispensation to allow him to participate for Ireland in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 which starts next February.
They have however declined the request from Cricket Ireland to have Irish passport holder Hamish Marshall cleared to also take part, meaning he won't be eligible to play for his adopted country until the start of next April.
An ICC spokesperson said: "Ed was granted permission for his four-year standout period to be slightly reduced so that he could compete in the CWC 2011. This was done on the basis of exceptional circumstances and the unique facts of his specific case, which included his Irish background and his very strong ties to Irish cricket from childhood up to senior national representation. We would like to wish Ed all the best as he resumes his Ireland career."
Speaking from India where he is on a pre World Cup training camp with Ireland, Joyce said: "It's obviously tremendous news. Playing for Ireland again is something I've given a lot of thought to over the last few years and to be given the opportunity to do so, a little earlier than expected and on the biggest stage, is absolutely fantastic. Having seen the talent and work ethic of the squad over the last week or so in India, I feel Ireland will, once again, make a huge impact at the World Cup and I look forward to hopefully offering a lot to the team in the tournament and the whole of 2011."
32 year old Joyce has played for Ireland exactly 50 times, the last of which was the 2005 ICC Trophy final at Clontarf. He has scored 1637 runs at a average of 37.20, placing him in third place in the all-time averages, just above Eoin Morgan in fourth slot.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said of the decision: "It's a huge boost to have Ed available for the World Cup, adding to the selectors' headaches in an already strong squad - but that's a nice problem to have. Of course, it would have been fantastic to have both Ed and Hamish available, but it's not to be. I've seen first hand over the past 10 days here in Pune just what hard working and talented players both are. Their dediciation and professionalism is evident for all to see, and everyone has responded positively to their being with us. I feel very sorry for Hamish, but this squad will be at other big tournaments - of that I'm certain."
Cricket Ireland Chief Executive Warren Deutrom said: "Cricket Ireland is delighted to welcome back Ed to the fold again, and we are sure he will make a massive contribution to the squad. We regret that Hamish has missed out on this occasion, but we have no doubt he will play a huge part in future World Cups and we are looking forward to him taking the field against England at the RSA Challenge ODI next August in Dublin.
?We would like to thank the ICC for its positive consideration of the case for Ed, and express our special appreciation to both the England and Wales Cricket Board and New Zealand Cricket for their great cooperation and generosity throughout this process in terms of facilitating Ireland to have its best possible squad at the sport's showcase event."