Joyce seeks Ireland return
Sussex batsman Ed Joyce has turned his back on England and hopes to play for Ireland again.
Last Updated: 24/05/10 5:30pm
Sussex batsman Ed Joyce has turned his back on England and is keen to resume his international career with his native Ireland.
The 31-year-old batsman played 50 times for Ireland between 1997 and 2005 before qualifying for England on residency grounds.
He was included in the 2006-07 Ashes squad but did not make a Test appearance for England and the last of his 17 one-day caps came in April 2007.
"When I made the decision in 2001 to try and play for England, it was with a view to trying to play Test cricket, which is the pinnacle of the game and which, of course, Ireland doesn't play," said Joyce.
"While I strongly believe I'm good enough to play Test cricket for England, I've taken the decision now to try and play for Ireland again.
"There are a few reasons for this, with the most obvious being that I'm a born and bred Irishman. Secondly, I feel I have a lot to offer to Irish cricket.
"I feel I'm playing the best cricket of my career and would like to bring this form with me to help Ireland be even more successful on the world stage."
Cricket Ireland are now hoping the Dubliner will be eligible to play in the 2011 World Cup in Asia.
Joyce would need an exemption from the International Cricket Council because it would be less than four years since his final England appearance.
Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: "It's fantastic news that Ed has decided to play for Ireland again. He's a superb cricketer and it will be a great boost to
have a player of his calibre in the team."
Joyce's decision comes in the same week that another Irishman, Eoin Morgan, is expected to make his Test debut for England against Bangladesh.
Hugh Morris, managing director of England Cricket, said: "While we are naturally disappointed to lose a player of Ed's calibre from our pool of potential England players, we entirely respect and understand the reasons behind his decision.
"Ed is a player of proven international quality who played an important role in England's Commonwealth Bank Series win over Australia in 2007 and we wish him well in his future career with Ireland."