Saturday 1 October 2016

Cusack retires from Ireland duty

Published 13/08/2015 | 17:58

Veteran Ireland all-rounder Alex Cusack has retired
Veteran Ireland all-rounder Alex Cusack has retired

Ireland will be without mainstay Alex Cusack against Australia at Stormont after the veteran announced his retirement from international cricket.

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Australia-born Cusack will be a notable absentee from the team which takes the field against the World Cup holders in the Hanley Energy Challenge one-day international on August 27.

Ireland have nonetheless selected an experienced squad of 13 to face Australia.

Bowling all-rounder Cusack, 34, has taken 98 wickets in his 96 limited-overs appearances for Ireland - and also scored almost 1,000 runs across the two formats.

His most famous ODI performance came in Ireland's shock 2011 World Cup victory over England in Bangalore, where he shared a century stand with man-of-the-match Kevin O'Brien.

Cusack, who last played for Ireland during their successful ICC World Twenty20 qualifying campaign last month, explained injuries and family commitments convinced him the time is right for his retirement.

He told the Irish Times: "I have been thinking about it seriously for a year, especially with the bad run of injuries I have suffered in recent times.

"Those injuries have taken a considerable toll on my body, and that's the main reason why I'm calling it a day now.

"I'm also the father of three young children, and I feel I need to be around more for them."

Under William Porterfield's captaincy, Ireland have retained nine of those who represented them the last time they took on Australia three years ago.

Coach John Bracewell said: "It doesn't get much bigger than a match against the Aussies, and I know the boys are all raring to go.

"They've named a quality side - and with a new [Australia] captain taking over the reins, it's going to be extremely difficult, particularly with players looking to book their spot in the starting line-up for their series against England.

"But we know we've the quality to challenge the best in the world."

Ireland squad (v Australia at Stormont, on August 27): W Porterfield (Captain), A Balbirnie, G Dockrell, E Joyce, J Mooney, T Murtagh, A McBrine, K O'Brien, N O'Brien (wkt), P Stirling, S Thompson, G Wilson (wkt), C Young.

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