Wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter has effectively signalled the end of his Ireland career by signing a fresh contract to remain at Durham.
Ireland’s elevation to Test status led to a change in England and Wales Cricket Board eligibility regulations, which came into effect last month, meaning Irish internationals must either stop representing their country to continue with their county or re-register as overseas players.
Durham have confirmed Poynter is “turning down the opportunity to further represent Ireland in international cricket” after joining batsman Jack Burnham and slow left-armer Liam Trevaskis in signing new two-year deals.
Poynter, who captained Durham in the early stages of the Vitality Blast this year, made his sole Test outing in the defeat to Afghanistan in Dehradun, India, in March, contributing two catches and a stumping.
The 28-year-old also appeared in 21 one-day internationals and 25 Twenty20s.
Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director at Cricket Ireland, said: “On behalf of the coaches, players past and present, and staff at Cricket Ireland I would like to thank Stuart for his service to Irish cricket since he made his debut for Ireland in 2011.
“Stuart has played 60 times for the national side, his last appearance being his Test debut against Afghanistan in early 2019.
“He has certainly been one of a cohort of players who has been part of the rapid climb of Irish cricket over the last decade from Associate Member to Full Member with Test match status, and I’m pleased for Stuart personally that he played in a Test match before he finished with international duties.
We wish Stuart and his family well with the next phase in their lives and hope that we see him regularly supporting the Irish team as we ourselves move into the next phase of our development.
Meanwhile Ireland claimed a 13-run win over Nepal in their final match in the Oman Pentangular Series.
Ireland’s total of 145 for eight from their 20 overs looked likely to be insufficient but Nepal lost their final eight wickets for just 32 runs.
Opener Paul Stirling top-scored for Ireland with 59, and an 88-run partnership with Andy Balbirnie put them in the promising position of 95 for two.
But wickets fell regularly thereafter until a late knock of 21 from 11 balls from Stuart Thompson that ultimately proved crucial.
Nepal’s innings followed a similar pattern, with Ishan Pandey, Paras Khadka and Aarif Sheikh all getting into the 20s.
Dipendra Singh Airee’s wicket left Nepal on 100 for three with more than five overs still remaining but they lost three wickets for one run and were unable to recover despite 16 from number eight Karan KC.
They were eventually all out for 132, leaving Ireland with a record of three wins from four matches - their only defeat coming against Oman.