• Specsavers County Championship 3m

    Joyce and Rudolph announce retirement

    Ed Joyce has retired from the county game so he can focus on playing for Ireland as they seek to gain Test status, while Jacques Rudolph announced he will retire at the end of the season

    Ed Joyce has retired from the county game so he can focus on playing for Ireland as they seek to gain Test status next year.

    The left-handed batsman joined Sussex in 2009 from Middlesex and went on to hit more than 8,000 first-class runs for the county, including 250 against Derbyshire last season, his highest score in red-ball cricket.

    Joyce took on the captaincy in 2012 and led Sussex to their best County Championship finishes since winning the competition in 2007, when he helped them to two consecutive third-place finishes.

    Discussing his decision, Joyce said: “County cricket has been a huge part of my life for the last 18 years and it is with a tinge of sadness that I've decided not to play this season or beyond.

    “I fully intended on playing at least some cricket for Sussex in 2017 but the realities of my various injuries, alongside my playing commitments here in Ireland have meant that this isn't possible.”

    Sussex announced in December a novel job-share agreement was in place for Joyce to play for Ireland and act as cover for the county, however commitments have meant this was not possible.

    Joyce enjoyed an illustrious county career, in particular white-ball cricket, where he won international caps for England, appearing in the 2007 World Cup, before switching back to Ireland after finding it difficult to realise his international dreams with England.

    “With the prospect of Test cricket and full membership potentially on the horizon, it's an exciting time for Irish cricket,” Joyce said. “I want to play my part in this process as long as I feel I can contribute on the field.”

    Jacques Rudloph has also announced he is retiring at the end of the season. He is stepping down from captaining Glamorgan’s County Championship side with immediate affect, but will continue leading them in the Natwest T20 Blast

    Rudolph joined Glamorgan in 2014, before being appointed captain the following year. At the end of his first season, he created a new Glamorgan one day record - breaking the previous one held by Viv Richards - by scoring 169 not out from 150 balls, as Glamorgan chased down 324 in a Royal London One-Day Cup match against Sussex at Hove.

    He said: “It is the right stage of my career to move on, I have been involved in the game for over 20 years, I now have a young family and it is time to retire.

    “It has been mentally tough, opening the batting and leading the team in all formats and I will now be able to concentrate more on my batting.”

    Regarding his decision to continue as one-day captain, Rudolph said: “It is more manageable to skipper the NatWest T20 Blast team, and after last year - where Glamorgan reached the last eight of the competition - Rudolph is confident of more success.

    Michael Hogan will take over the County Championship captaincy from Rudolph and admitted to being “surprised and happy” when he was summoned by the coach and chief executive on Monday and told of his appointment.

    “At first, I thought I had done something wrong, but delighted when I heard the news.

    “I have always wanted to captain a side as my career progressed. I am not going to say that I am going to solve the world’s problems, but with input from the coach and other players, I hope I can get the club moving forwards.”

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