Andrew Balbirnie has been named the new captain of the Ireland cricket team in test and ODI cricket.
William Porterfield, the left-handed opener who was in charge of the Ireland 50-over team for more than a decade, has decided to step away from captaincy as he wants to focus on his individual performance.
Porterfield had taken over as the Ireland captain in 2008 and he led the Green Whites in two World Cups in 2011 and 2015 respectively. He would have probably been the Ireland captain in the 2019 World Cup too, but Ireland didn’t participate in the competition.
Porterfield was captaining the T20I team of Ireland as well till 2017, but he resigned saying that he wanted to focus on the other formats and it was time for someone else to be given the leadership role in the shortest format.
Gary Wilson succeeded Porterfield as the T20I captain of Ireland and he is in charge of the team at this point of time.
Wilson could also have been a contender for the test and the ODI captaincy, but the fact that he is now in his thirties might have gone against him.
One of the reasons why the selectors went for Balbirnie was his experience of captaincy at the junior level. He has been the captain of the Ireland U19 team in the past.
Balbirnie was present at the press conference where his appointment was announced. The 28-year old hailed Porterfield as the “greatest captain” in the history of Irish cricket and said that the veteran still has a lot to give to the Ireland team.
“Taking over from our greatest captain will certainly be a hard act to follow but one I’m looking forward to getting into. William still has a huge role to play in this team going forward and I look forward to working with him over the next couple of years.” Balbirnie told the reporters.