Ed Joyce retires from cricket after playing in Ireland's first-ever Test

Ed Joyce has announced his retirement from all cricket less than a fortnight after realising his dream of playing Test cricket for Ireland.

The 39-year-old was one of the 11 men who made history against Pakistan in Malahide earlier this month, when Ireland became the 11th Test playing nation.

That was the culmination of a 21-year professional career which saw him captain both Middlesex and Sussex in county cricket as well as becoming a limited-overs international with England.

Joyce toured Australia with England in 2006/07 and went on to play 17 of his 78 one-day internationals and two of his 18 Twenty20s for his adopted country, with the highlight a fine century in an ODI in Sydney.

Having fallen back down the pecking order, Joyce returned to the Irish fold in time for the 2011 World Cup and became the side's senior player as well as one of the most reliable batsmen.

Joyce, who ended his glittering county career last summer, will take up a backroom position with Cricket Ireland as a batting and leadership coach.

"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."

William Porterfield, Joyce's long-time team-mate and Ireland skipper, 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 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.

"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."

- PA


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