Joyce, Murtagh retire from shortest format

Ireland

Ireland batsman Ed Joyce and bowler Tim Murtagh have decided to retire from T20 Internationals to concentrate on 50-over cricket and maybe even the possibility of playing Tests.

The 36 year-old Joyce has played in 18 T20I's for the Irish team, scoring 405 runs at an average of 33.75. The announcement comes as a surprise with the World T20 being held next year in India.

Joyce said: "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.

"I know the T20 team should be in good hands going forward."

Pace bowler Murtagh, 33, who turns out for Middlesex in English domestic cricket, played in only seven T20's for the European team, claiming seven wickets with a best performance of two for 24.

Murtagh said: "I haven't played much T20 cricket for Middlesex recently. 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 chairman of selectors, Alan Lewis said: "Wise men make the right decisions at the right time and this is no different. I can't speak highly enough of both.

"Both players are 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."

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