Ed Joyce, who made his Test debut for Ireland against Pakistan recently, has announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect. Joyce played 78 One-Day Internationals and 18 Twenty20 Internationals.
Joyce will now work as the batting coach and will oversee leadership development in the Irish performance system. He is one of the ten cricketers to play for two countries in ODIs and was also the first player to play T20Is for two nations.
"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," said Joyce. "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 made 2151 runs from 61 ODI games at an average of 41.36. His best of unbeaten 160 came against Afghanistan in Belfast in 2016. He played 17 ODIs for England between 2006 and 2007, scoring 471 runs at an average of 27.70 before switching back to playing for Ireland. He also represented England in two T20Is - against Sri Lanka and Australia.
Ed Joyce was also prolific in county cricket, scoring 18461 runs from 255 games at an average of 47.95 with 47 centuries to his name having represented Marylebone Cricket Club, Middlesex and Sussex.
"County Cricket has been such a huge part of my life for the last 16 years and I firmly believe there was no better place for me to learn about the game. I was lucky to have played for two of the best in Middlesex and Sussex and I cherish the friendships I made and trophies I won over this period," he said. "One of the challenges Irish cricket faces now is that we can no longer use county cricket as a finishing school for our youngsters. We need to produce our own cricketers through our domestic structure and I'm excited to be a part of that journey."
William Porterfield, Ireland’s captain 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 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.”
Porterfield also said, "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, I'm sure. He has seen the transition from a completely amateur organisation into being a full member and professional."
"We have always had cricketing talent in this country. Our job now is to develop that talent so that it is ready for the highest stage. The continued development of our club game, inter-provincial competitions, and Wolves programme are critical to this as is the development of world-class training facilities," Joyce remarked.
Joyce signed off by saying, "If we get all of these areas right over the next few years, there's no reason why we can't keep making waves on the world stage. We're also very fortunate to have some excellent coaches at all levels. Graham Ford, Rob Cassell and Ben Smith have been fantastic with the Men's side over the last nine months, as has Aaron Hamilton with our senior women over a number of years, but there is also a lot of coaching talent at all levels here now, and I'm excited to now be a part of it."
(with inputs from Cricbuzz.com)