Ireland’s Ed Joyce might have made his Test debut for England today - Fraser

England selector admitted that there isn’t a more in-form player in English cricket

 Ed Joyce in action for Sussex. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Ed Joyce in action for Sussex. Photograph: Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

 

England selector Angus Fraser believes Ed Joyce would have stood a great chance of making his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lord’s in today’s first Test thanks to his stunning start to the season with Sussex.

Joyce played 17 One-Day Internationals and two T20 Internationals before being jettisoned after England’s poor performances at the World Cup in the Caribbean in 2007.

The Bray native made a return to Irish colours for the 2011 World Cup after a four-year stand down period and has played a key role in helping Phil Simmons’s side qualify for next year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

His form in county cricket has also been outstanding and he has started this season in stunning touch with four centuries in six matches, scoring 667 runs in Division One at an average of 95.26.

And speaking on Irish cricket podcast The Slog Sweep, Fraser admitted that Joyce’s stats warranted mention at last week’s England selection meeting for the first Test.

“Ed is a wonderful player and if I’m being honest we had a selection meeting for the first Test against Sri Lanka a week or so ago and you look at the figures, you look at the player’s performances in county cricket at this moment in time and no-one is performing better than Ed with the bat,” said former England seamer Fraser.

“Had Ed still been eligible for England this coming summer he may well have been in the shake-up for Test selection because he’s been in wonderful form.”

After a spell in journalism Fraser returned to Lord’s to take over as managing director of cricket at Middlesex where there continues to be a strong Irish connection with present internationals Tim Murtagh, Paul Stirling and Andrew Balbirnie as well as former star Eoin Morgan on the books.

Joyce’s departure to Sussex was one that Fraser still regrets, although he was not is position to do anything about it at the time.

“Sadly he left Middlesex just before I came back as managing director of cricket. At Middlesex we’ve released a few players that we didn’t want to, but of all the players I wish we still had. Ed is the one because he’s not only a fine player but a cracking young man too.”

LEINSTER LIGHTNING (Squad for Interprovincial Championships 3-day game v Northern Knights, College Park, June 17th-19th): John Mooney (North County, capt), John Anderson (Merrion), Ben Ackland (Merrion), Pat Collins (Railway Union), Tyrone Kane (Merrion), Fintan McAllister (Malahide, wkts), Cormac McLoughlin (The Hills), Andrew Poynter (Clontarf), Eddie Richardson (North County), Simmi Singh (YMCA), Max Sorensen (The Hills), Albert van der Merwe (YMCA).

NORTHERN KNIGHTS: Andrew White (Instonians, capt), Mark Adair (CSNI), James Cameron-Dow (North Down), Chris Dougherty (CIYMS), Imad Wasim, Shane Getkate (CSNI), Nick Larkin (North Down), Jacob Mulder (CIYMS), Lee Nelson (Waringstown), James Shannon (Instonians), David Simpson (Lisburn), Nathan Waller (CIYMS).

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