Ireland cricketer Alex Cusack announces international retirement

All-rounder has struggled with injuries over recent years

Ireland all-rounder Alex Cusack has announced his retirement from international cricket: Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Alex Cusack, one of Irish cricket's great unsung heroes, has called time on his international career at 34.

The 34 year-old Clontarf player had originally planned to retire following the World Cup earlier this year, but delayed his decision until after helping Ireland successfully qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 in India next year.

“I have been thinking about it seriously for a year, especially with the bad run of injuries I have suffered in recent times,” said Cusack.

“Those injuries have taken a considerable toll on my body, and that’s the main reason why I’m calling it a day now. I’m also the father of three young children, and I feel I need to be around more for them.”


Born in Brisbane to Irish parents, Cusack made his debut against Middlesex in 2007 and went on play 174 times for Ireland, scoring 2347 runs at an average of 22.79, while also taking 180 wickets at just 21.86, putting him at eighth on the all-time leading wicket-takers.

He is presently the top-ranked Ireland pace bowler in both the ODI and T20 internationals world rankings.

Cusack played a vital support role in Ireland’s famous World Cup win over England in Bangalore back in 2011, making 47 during a stand of 161 as Kevin O’Brien made the fastest century in World Cup history.

In this year’s World Cup he took four wickets for 32 as Ireland edged out Zimbabwe by five runs in Hobart.

He scored his only century – 130 in 2007 against Scotland – and shared a stand of 234 with Andre Botha, the third highest partnership for Ireland in all cricket.

Often seen at his best in T20 cricket, Cusack was named the Player of the Tournament at the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament in the UAE.

Ireland captain William Porterfield paid tribute to Cusack, saying: "Alex has been a great servant and performer for Ireland for quite some time. Not only has he been such a consistent performer for us on the pitch, but he continued to set the example off it. He was ever the professional and I am sure that how he approached all aspects of the game has had a positive influence on the younger players within the squad.

“I would like to thank Alex for all that he has done over the years and to also wish him every success in his future career path.”

Bracewell echoed those sentiments, saying: “ It is a shame that I have had so little time with Alex in the Irish side. In that time, however, he has been a great role model to our players in how to conduct yourself as an international cricketer; a mentor to our young bowlers and wise counsel to myself and the senior players.

“Players who give whole heartedly to cricket teams are rarer than one would imagine and Irish cricket have been blessed in the services of Alex over the last eight years both on and off the field. I’d like to wish Alex and his family all the best for his future career.”