Long-time Ireland Captain William Porterfield Steps Down From Captaincy, Andy Balbirnie Is New Test And ODI Captain
The long-time Irish captain William Porterfield has stepped down from the international captaincy on Friday (8th November). The 28-year-old Andy Balbirnie has been appointed as the new Test and ODI captain of Ireland team.
William Porterfield, the 35-year-old Ireland cricketer led the Ireland cricket team in 172 international matches from 2008 to 2019. Under his leadership, Ireland played 113 ODIs, 56 T20Is and all their three Tests. During his leadership tenure, Ireland won To ODIs and 26 T20Is.
Under William Porterfield’s leadership, Ireland played two ICC Cricket World Cups (2011 and 2015) and five ICC World T20s (2009, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016).
In 2018, Gary Wilson replaced William Porterfield in T20I captaincy. Last time, Porterfield led the Irish T20I side in March 2017.
William Porterfield is ready to help the new captain
Since 2018, the senior cricketer is focusing mainly in Test and ODI cricket. Now, he has stepped down from the entire international captaincy. However, Porterfield is continuing his international cricket career. He is now ready to help and support the new captain in this transition period.
Porterfield said in the Cricket Ireland website, “It has been an incredible journey, and a fantastic honour to have captained my country over the past 11 and a half years. There have been many highs, along with a few lows along the way, but I can honestly say that it has been thoroughly enjoyable. To have been able to lead Ireland out at various World Cups, through to our first Test against Pakistan, and again at Lord’s in the summer, have been but a few of these highlights. I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have done so.
“I feel, and in consultation with Cricket Ireland, that now is the right time to hand over that mantle. With the ODI league starting in the summer it will allow Balbo time to get into the swing of things. I feel that the selectors have made a great choice in appointing Balbo and that it has come at a great time for him personally being on top of his game, and with more to come. Having spoken to him, I know how honoured and excited he is to get going. I’m looking forward to helping and supporting Balbo in any way I can, and seeing him lead Ireland forward.
“The one thing that I will not miss, though, is knocking on someone’s hotel door to tell them they will not be playing!”
William Porterfield made his international cricket debut in August 2006. Till the date, Porterfield has played three Tests, 136 ODIs and 61 T20Is.
Andy Balbirnie is excited to take up the new role
Now, Andy Balbirnie will handle the Test and ODI captaincies of Ireland cricket team. The 28-year-old Balbirnie has played three Tests, 64 ODIs and 37 T20Is since his international debut in July 2010. However, Balbirnie has no past experience in international captaincy.
Andy Balbirnie is feeling a great honour to taking up these big roles – Test and ODI captaincies. The top-order batsman is very excited to start his journey.
Balbirnie said, “To be asked to captain my country is an absolute honour and one that I am very excited about as we move into a busy new year. It’s a proud moment not just for me but also for my family and everyone who has been there on my cricket journey so far – especially my coaches, teammates and friends at Pembroke Cricket Club.”
The next year (2020) is going to be a very busy year for Ireland. Andy Balbirnie will start his journey as an Ireland captain during their tour of West Indies in early January 2020. Then, Ireland will tour in India to play against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.
Since May 2020, Ireland will be busy in the crucial home season. From May 2020, Ireland will participate in the inaugural edition of ICC Cricket World Cup Super League (2020-22).
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