Joyce eyes Test cricket for Ireland
Ed Joyce rues the fact that he never played Test cricket for England, but hopes future generations of Irish cricketers get the chance to do so for their own country.
Joyce is back in the Ireland fold after a five-year absence, having called time on an England career that saw him capped at one-day and Twenty20 level but not in the longer form.
The draw of Test cricket was what inspired Joyce to switch his eligibility in the first place and he concedes there is a pang of regret that he failed to achieve that.
Eoin Morgan has since gone one better than Joyce by playing Test cricket for England last summer, but Joyce hopes the move will not be necessary one day.
Speaking on the eve of his side’s first World Cup warm-up against New Zealand in Nagpur, Joyce, who played in the 2007 World Cup for his adopted country, said: "It’s good to be back.
"It’s been a bit weird watching the lads do so well in the last few years, but as an Irishman it’s nice to be wearing the shirt again.
“I’m disappointed I never got to play Test cricket for England, which was the point in the first place. Ireland don’t play Test cricket, although hopefully that changes soon.
“It might not happen for me but hopefully Ireland cricket will get to the stage in the next 10 or 15 years where they’re ready and I pass on my experience.”
Sussex batsman Joyce, 32, admits the infrastructure is not yet fully in place to match those lofty ambitions, but he believes that is a situation which is changing.
“It’s getting a lot better,” he added. “We don’t really have the stadia yet but they are building one in Malahide. Hopefully in a year or two that will be ready to welcome teams; that would be a big step.
“The governments both north and south of the border have started to free up money to Cricket Ireland, which is good because you can’t do much without the money.”
Nigel Jones is unlikely to play against New Zealand after coming down with sickness.
Gary Wilson also has other things on his mind, after it was confirmed that his fiancee’s mother was aboard the plane that crashed in Cork yesterday, killing six people. She is understood to be in hospital following surgery.