Ireland bowler Tim Murtagh announces international retirement

Seamer will forever be on honours board at Lord’s after five wicket haul last summer

Tim Murtagh celebrates dismissing Jack Leach of England during the Test match at Lord’s in July 2019. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Tim Murtagh celebrates dismissing Jack Leach of England during the Test match at Lord’s in July 2019. Photo: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

 

Middlesex and Ireland seamer Tim Murtagh has announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 38.

Lambeth-born Murtagh capped his Ireland career with a dream Test appearance against England at Lord’s, earning a place on his home ground’s famous honours board with exemplary figures of five for 13 in a losing cause.

Murtagh first wore the green shirt in 2012 after discussing his ancestry with Ed Joyce and went on to be the anchor of the country’s seam attack across 54 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty20s as well as their first three Test matches.

Ireland’s elevated status meant their leading players could no longer continue to play in county cricket unless they did so on overseas contracts, and Murtagh has opted to pen a new two-year deal with Middlesex.

“This is a day that I have known has been coming for a few years since the ECB changed their regulations, but it hasn’t made the decision any easier. I’ve had eight great years playing international cricket and loved every minute of it,” said Murtagh.

“It’s sad that it has come to an end but a decision that I have made my peace with. A Test Match at Lord’s against England is a great way to finish my international career and a game I will always cherish.

“I wish the lads all the best for the winter tours and very much hope to help out and be involved in some capacity in the future.”

Head coach Graham Ford bid the canny paceman a fond farewell, adding: “It’s sad to see such a great player leave our ranks, but Tim has been a model professional and a great asset to have in the dressing room.

“His performances on the pitch were top-class, but it is also the weight of experience and knowledge of the game that he brought to benefit young bowlers within the Irish setup that made his involvement invaluable.

“Irish cricket made the right call when it signed Tim up back in 2012, and he can be proud of the positive impact he has had on Irish cricket. I wish Tim well in his next couple of seasons for Middlesex.”

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