Ireland Women’s Cricket face a new era after it was announced that the Joyce twins, Isobel and Cecilia, will join Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe, in retirement. All four players have been on the international scene for nearly two decades, with 37-year old opener Clare Shillington having debuted back in 1997.
Prior to the World T20 tournament, it was already known that this would be the final tournament for opener Shillington and 39-year-old leg-spinner Metcalfe. Both players received a guard of honour from their team-mates before taking the field, and another from New Zealand as they left it.
Twin sisters Isobel and Cecelia Joyce announced their retirement after Ireland lost their final Women’s World Twenty20 game to New Zealand by eight wickets in Guyana. The twins informed their decision to their team-mates only during the post-match huddle.
All-rounder Isobel Joyce, captained Ireland a record 62 times before stepping down as captain after the World T20 back in 2016. Isobel Joyce made her debut in in 1999, having played 79 ODIs and 55 T20Is. Twin sister, Cecilia Joyce, made her international debut in 2001, playing 57 ODI’s and 43 T20s.
Irish Captain Laura Delany thanked all four Irish legends for their contribution to the game and was aware of the transition Irish cricket would require over the next year.
“I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for us. The next 10-12 months will be about transitioning the team as we don’t have any international fixtures coming up.”
The retirement of the four players came after Ireland were defeated by eight wickets to New Zealand. Ireland’s young budding superstar Gaby Lewis top-scored with 39 but it wasn’t enough as Ireland posted 79-9.
New Zealand raced home to the total in 7.3 overs as Sophie Devine hit a quick-fire 51.
Defeat mean’s Ireland finish bottom of Group B and will require to pre-qualify for the next 2020 World T20 in Australia.
Despite the heavy defeats in all their group games, Ireland have shown in varies patches that they are more than capable of competing at the highest level. The talent is undoubtedly there however more exposure to international cricket and high-pressure situations are needed to elevate the team into a cricketing powerhouse.