Friday 23 June 2017

Cricket: Joyce wants test cricket in Ireland

Ed Joyce Photo: PA
Ed Joyce Photo: PA

Ed Joyce rues the fact that he was never granted the chance to play Test cricket for England but hopes future generations of Irish cricketers get the chance to do so for their own country.

Joyce is back in the Ireland fold after five years having called time on his England career, which saw him capped at one-day and Twenty20 level but not in the longer form.

The draw of Test cricket was what inspired Joyce to switch his eligibility in the first place and he concedes there is a pang of regret that he failed to achieve that.

Eoin Morgan has since gone one better than Joyce by playing Test cricket for England last summer, but the 32-year-old Sussex batsman hopes one day the move will not necessary.

Speaking on the eve of his side's first World Cup warm-up against New Zealand in Nagpur, Joyce said: "It's good to be back. It's been a bit weird watching the lads do so well in the last few years, but as an Irishman it's nice to be wearing the shirt again.

"I'm disappointed I never got to play Test cricket for England, which was the point in the first place. Ireland don't play Test cricket, although hopefully that changes soon.

"It might not happen for me but hopefully Ireland cricket will get to the stage in the next 10 or 15 years where they're ready and I pass on my experience."

Joyce admits the infrastructure is not yet fully in place to match those lofty ambitions, but he believes that is a situation which is changing.

"It's getting a lot better," he added.

"We don't really have the stadia yet but they are building one in Malahide.

"Hopefully in a year or two that will be ready to welcome teams to, that would be a big step.

"The governments both north and south of the border have started to free up money to Cricket Ireland which is good because you can't do much without the money."

Nigel Jones is unlikely to play against New Zealand after coming down with sickness.

Gary Wilson also has other things on his mind, after it was confirmed his fiancee's mother was aboard the plane that crashed in Cork yesterday, killing six people.

She is understood to be in hospital having undergone an operation.

Press Association

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