Dublin [Ireland], Nov 8 (ANI): Cricket Ireland on Friday announced that Andrew Balbirnie will lead the team in the Test and One-Day International format of the game.
Balbirnie will be succeeding William Porterfield, who has stepped down from the post. Porterfield, who served the team from 2008, led the team 253 times including captaining the side in two 50-over World Cups and five T20 World Cups.
Porterfield called his tenure as a captain an 'incredible journey' and said he felt it was the right time to step down.
"It has been an incredible journey, and a fantastic honour to have captained my country over the past 11 and a half years. There have been many highs, along with a few lows along the way, but I can honestly say that it has been thoroughly enjoyable. To have been able to lead Ireland out at various World Cups, through to our first Test against Pakistan, and again at Lord's in the summer, have been but a few of these highlights. I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have done so," Cricket Ireland's official website quoted Porterfield as saying.
"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. 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," he added.
Chairman of National Men's Selectors, Andrew White, said Porterfield has been a remarkable captain.
"William has been a remarkable captain, and we have been fortunate over such a long period to have his skills and experience to draw on. His leadership abilities on the field have been clear for all to see, but what is, and always has been, his greatest quality is his off-field leadership and support that has benefitted numerous coaches and players over a long period of time," he said.
Balbirnie is elated over his appointment as the captain of the Ireland team.
"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. 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," Balbirnie said.
Balbirnie's first match as captain will be on January 7 next year when Ireland will compete against West Indies in an ODI match in Barbados. (ANI)