Cricket’s progression in Ireland from minority interest to the World Cup stage can arguably be attributed to one man, from one extraordinary family.
Ed Joyce’s calm and assured 84 in Nelson was the bedrock of Ireland’s World Cup win over the West Indies.
The Bray native is one of five family members to wear the green of Ireland. Gus and Dominick played for the national team, while twin sisters Isobel and Cecilia are the standout players of the Irish ladies’ side.
Joyce, 36, represented Ireland in the early years of his career, but, in order to achieve his career ambition of playing Test cricket, declared for England in 2006. His first oneday international for England was in Belfast against an Ireland side that included younger brother Dominick.
Joyce never managed to win a Test cap for England, despite a callup to the 200607 Ashes squad, but he did play for his adopted country in the 2007 World Cup.
Having been sidelined by England after that World Cup, Joyce re-qualified for Ireland and played for the country of his birth in the 2011 tournament.
The Sussex opening batsman came in to the 2015 World Cup on the back of the most consistent season of his career in England’s county championship.
Joyce has recently used his standing within the Irish game to lobby against the International Cricket Council’s decision to exclude the smaller cricket nations from future World Cups.
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