In order to focus more on 50 overs Cricket and with the possibility looming over a potential Test debut for Ireland in the near future, Irish duo Ed Joyce and Tim Murtagh have announced their retirements from T20 Cricket.
"With potentially more ODIs 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 T20," the 36-year old Joyce said.
Joyce is easily Ireland’s most successful T20 batsman having scored more than 400 runs with an average of 36. Even though there is a T20 World Cup coming up next year in India, the left-hander believes that there are enough youngsters to fill his void.
"Added to this is the emergence of exciting young batsman Andy Balbirne, so I know the T20 team should be in good hands going forward," he said.
The 33-year old fast bowler Murtagh said that he wanted to manage his workload at this stage of his career. "I haven't played much T20 cricket for Middlesex recently," he said. "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."
Ireland's chairman of selectors Alan Lewis supported the decision of both these players. "Wise men make the right decisions at the right time and this is no different. I can't speak highly enough of both," he said, "Both players are at 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."Published 28 May 2015, 15:12 IST