Timothy James Murtagh
August 02, 1981, Lambeth, London
Left hand Bat
Right arm Fast medium
John Fisher, Purley
Tim Murtagh is a bustling swing bowler with a marching run-up who, late in a career that has stretched into his forties, has enjoyed the chance to play international cricket with Ireland. His pace is lively without being express but his dependable accuracy makes him one of the most reliable new-ball bowlers on the county circuit, and latterly Middlesex's club captain. He can also be a destructive lower order hitter.
Though now a stalwart at Lord's, Murtagh actually came through Surrey's age-group sides and was a member of the England Under-19 squad during the 1999 World Cup, subsequently touring Sri Lanka with a British Universities side in 2002. He battled his way into the Surrey side, and in 2005 took a competition-best 6 for 24 in a Twenty20 tie against Middlesex at Lord's. Nevertheless, he moved north of the river to Lord's in 2007 where he felt his opportunities would be greater. And they were. Consistent in all forms of cricket, and with a liking for the big occasion, he took 104 wickets in all three formats in 2008 and began to establish himself as a county stalwart. Surprisingly, he was overlooked for the England development squad, but had his chance to shine in Middlesex's trip to Antigua for the Stanford 20/20 for 20. Together with Steven Finn he led Middlesex's attack in 2011, taking 80 wickets at 20.98 as the county gained promotion from Division Two.
In early 2012 Murtagh qualified for Ireland based on his grandparents. He had to wait a few months to become a regular, but, after the retirement of Trent Johnston and Boyd Rankin's defection to England, soon became the leader of Ireland's attack, and took 3 for 33 against England in front of 10,000 spectators at Malahide in September 2013. He withdrew from the 2015 World Cup because of a foot injury, and subsequently retired from T20Is ahead of the 2016 World T20. But after making his Test debut at the age of 37 in Ireland's maiden appearance in the format in 2018, he achieved arguably the crowning glory of his career, at his Middlesex home of Lord's the following season. In July 2019, his first-morning figures of 5 for 13 routed England for 85, and though Ireland went on to lose their maiden Test in England, his place on the away dressing-room honours board was secured.
With Middlesex increasingly saving Murtagh for first-class cricket, his returns got better and better as the years went by. He was yet again Middlesex's leading Championship wicket-take in 2014, with 58 wickets, including ten wickets in the match against Durham. He passed 500 first-class wickets in his benefit year in 2015 and his part in their Championship triumph in 2016 guaranteed his club legend status. At the back end of 2021, he took over from Peter Handscomb as captain, and after winning three of his four games that season, he retained the role for 2022 as well.
Batting & Fielding