Gary Wilson has been appointed as the new Ireland captain to lead the side in the shortest format of the game after long time skipper William Porterfield decided to step down as the T20 skipper. Leading the side since 2008, after taking over from Irish legend Trent Johnston, Porterfield stepped down owing to Ireland's more crucial engagements of Test cricket post their recent induction, and the greater number of ODIs they will be playing in compliance with the new ICC ODI regulations.
The new recruit Wilson is quite the experienced man at this level, with 53 T20 caps and a high score of an unbeaten 65. He has led the side previously on one occasion when he stepped in for an injured Porterfield against Papua New Guinea back in February 2016, but his first assignment as full-time skipper will be the tri-series involving former associate rivals Scotland and the Netherlands.
“I am absolutely honoured to be asked to undertake this role. With 16 months until the qualifying tournament for next World Twenty20 tournament in Australia, I believe this is a timely opportunity to prepare the squad for an important new phase in Irish cricket,” said Wilson.
“I hope my experience and leadership in this form of the game will be of benefit in developing the next generation of leaders," he said with an air of excitement about the challenges that await him.
The man departing from the role, Porterfield felt it was the appropriate timing to step away from the role, as with two years to go for the next World T20, Ireland can settle and gel well under the new skipper and he, in the meanwhile, can concentrate solely on his batting in this format and lead Ireland in the two formats where the Irish have much greater tasks cut out for them.
"It has been a huge honour to captain my country across all formats for the past 10 years, and I have been fortunate enough to captain Ireland at the last five World Twenty20’s,” Porterfield said.
“With the qualifiers only a year or so away, I feel that now is the right time for me and the team for a fresh voice and leader in this format. I will now focus solely on my batting in a format that I love playing. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 10 years and indeed in making this decision. Finally, I would like to wish Gary all the best in what is an exciting time for him.”
While presenting an opportunity for Ireland to be led by a fresher perspective of Wilson, it truly marks the end of an era for Ireland with the recent retirement of Ed Joyce and Porterfield no longer being the T20 captain.