Andrew Balbirnie has been named Ireland’s new Test and ODI captain after long-serving William Porterfield stepped down from his role.
Porterfield captained Ireland in 253 matches after taking over the duties from Trent Johnston in 2008. He led his side in two 50-over World Cups and five T20 World Cups but the most important moment came when he captained Ireland in their first-ever Test against Pakistan in 2018.
Porterfield has no such intentions to quit international cricket as he wants a smooth transition for the new skipper. “It has been an incredible journey, and a fantastic honour to have captained my country over the past 11 and a half years,” said Porterfield in Ireland Cricket’s official press release.
“I feel, and in consultation with Cricket Ireland, that now is the right time to hand over that mantle. With the ODI league starting in the summer it will allow Balbo time to get into the swing of things.”
Balbirnie, 28, becomes Ireland’s second Test captain and fifth to lead the ODI team. He made his international debut against Scotland in 2010 and has represented Ireland in 104 international matches.
“To be asked to captain my country is an absolute honour and one that I am very excited about as we move into a busy new year,” he said.
“It’s a proud moment not just for me but also for my family and everyone who has been there on my cricket journey so far - especially my coaches, teammates and friends at Pembroke Cricket Club.
“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. 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’s first international assignment as captain will be against West Indies in an ODI at Barbados next year.