Andrew Balbirnie named Ireland Test and ODI captain
by Wisden Staff3 minute read
Andrew Balbirnie has been appointed as Ireland’s Test and ODI captain, replacing William Porterfield.
Porterfield took on the Irish captaincy in 2008, leading the side on 253 occasions. He holds the distinction of being Ireland’s first male Test captain, having led the side in their three Test appearances so far.
The 35-year-old said: “I feel, and in consultation with Cricket Ireland, that now is the right time to hand over that mantle.”
Balbirnie, who made his Ireland debut in 2010, has made 123 appearances for Ireland and had experience as a skipper with Ireland Wolves and Ireland U-19s.
Porterfield has captained Ireland for the last 11 and a half years
Porterfield, who plans to continue his international playing career, added: “With the ODI league starting in the summer it will allow Balbo time to get into the swing of things. I feel that the selectors have made a great choice in appointing Balbo and that it has come at a great time for him personally being on top of his game, and with more to come.
“Having spoken to him, I know how honoured and excited he is to get going. I’m looking forward to helping and supporting Balbo in any way I can, and seeing him lead Ireland forward.”
Balbirnie hailed the opportunity as an “absolute honour” and had plenty of praise for Porterfield.
“Since 2008 William [Porterfield] has been an amazing leader on and off the field, not just to me but anyone who has been lucky to represent Ireland,” Balbirnie said. “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 first assignment as Ireland skipper will be their ODI series away to West Indies in January 2020.