Monday 19 March 2018

Cricket: World Cup hero Bray to retire from Ireland duty

Jeremy Bray is to retire from Ireland duty. Photo: Getty Images
Jeremy Bray is to retire from Ireland duty. Photo: Getty Images

WORLD CUP star Jeremy Bray will announce his retirement from international cricket today, having scored 2,812 runs for Ireland and made a record-equalling seven centuries.

Like long-time team-mate Kyle McCallan, the Australian-born 36-year-old feels he can no longer keep up with the demands of the modern game.

He said: "I'm not getting any younger, and it's hard to get up to the levels of fitness now required for international cricket. The team has an incredible schedule over the next few years, and I couldn't commit myself fully to that."

A hard-hitting left-handed opening batsman, who played for Australia U-19s before moving to Ireland, Bray won the first of his 83 caps against Berkshire in 2002.

His next innings of 67 not out took Ireland to a 10-wicket victory over Test-playing Zimbabwe, and at the 2007 World Cup Bray scored the best of his seven hundreds in a nail-biting tie with the same opponents.

But after the high of that Caribbean adventure, Bray fell out with his cricket bosses and took a two-year sabbatical from the national team, before making a largely unsuccessful return last summer.

He said: "I have had some wonderful memories and I'll never forget the atmosphere of the World Cup in the West Indies.

"I'll always be grateful to Ireland for giving me the opportunity, and to (former coach) Adi Birrell for the faith he showed in me, and (current coach) Phil Simmons for giving me the chance to make a comeback."

Irish Independent

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