August 23, 2001

Ed Joyce: The Irishman with an England future

Matt Appleby

Ed Joyce, the Dubliner who scored a maiden century at Lord's recently, may try and qualify for England.

The 22-year-old told CricInfo: "You never know. It's a four-year wait to qualify. A big decision."

Joyce follows in the footsteps of another Middlesex player with an Irish heritage, the great Patsy Hendren.

Indeed, with the same hooked four that brought up his hundred, the fourth wicket record for Middlesex against Warwickshire, set in 1927 years ago by Hendren and Cyril Gray, was broken.

Joyce said: "I couldn't stop smiling for about ten minutes. It was a great feeling. A brilliant feeling."

The law graduate smiled so much he lost his concentration, and was run out for 104 not long afterwards.

On his first CricInfo Championship appearance of the season, Joyce returned from representing Ireland at the ICC tournament in Canada with a flourish.

However in Toronto not all went well for Ireland, despite having two Joyces in the team.

"All my brothers play," revealed Ed. "I've got four brothers and four sisters. Two of the girls (Cecelia and Isobel) play. My little brother (Dominick) went to Canada with me and one of my elder brothers (Augustine) played for Ireland as well."

But there was disappointment for Ireland in Canada as they failed to qualify for the 2003 World Cup.

"We didn't play very well," admitted the promising left-hander. "The batting was quite good, but the bowling was poor." Joyce scored 359 runs at 71.80 in the competition.

He complimented Ireland coach Ken Rutherford, the former New Zealand captain.

"Ken's a good coach. He was with Gauteng a long time and did reasonably well there," said Joyce. "In Toronto it just didn't work out," he mused.

Finally, the big question: is he from the same family as Dublin's best-known Joyce - literary giant James? "My Dad's called James Joyce," young Ed smiled, "but I'm not related to THE James Joyce."