Joyce and Murtagh retire from T20 International Cricket
Wed, May 27, 2015 4:07 PM
Ed Joyce and Tim Murtagh have retired from T20 International cricket with immediate effect.
"I feel now is the right time to concentrate on the two longer formats of the game for Ireland," said Joyce, who played in both the 2012 and 2014 Twenty20 World Cups in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
"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," added the Bray native, who turns 37 in September.
"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."
33 year-old Murtagh outlined similar reasons to those of his international colleague saying: "I haven't played much T20 cricket for Middlesex recently. 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."
Chairman of Selectors Alan Lewis paid tribute to both players saying: "It came as no surprise that Ed and Tim have announced their retirements from T20 international cricket.
"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. 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."
Joyce played 26 T20 games for Ireland, 18 of which were internationals. He has the highest batting average for his country in the shortest format of the game - 30.84 in all games and 33.75 in internationals only. His highest score of 78 not out came in the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Dubai against Scotland in 2012.
Murtagh featured in 17 T20 matches for Ireland, 7 of which were internationals. He took 18 wickets at 21.22, with a best haul of 4 for 24 against hosts UAE in the 2013 World Cup Qualifiers semi-finals.
Ireland will announce their squads for both the T20I series against Scotland and the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers on Friday.