Edmund Christopher Joyce
September 22, 1978, Dublin
Joycey, Spud, Piece
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Top order batter
Presentation College (Bray), Trinity College, Dublin
Ed Joyce is best known as the Ireland batsman who played for two different countries in successive World Cups. Joyce had switched to England when the 2007 World Cup took place, having helped Irelands through the qualifying tournament, and became the first Irishman in the modern game to play for England. But he did not quite achieve the career he had envisaged and switched back to Ireland just in time for the next tournament in 2011. He had not quite achieved the four-year qualification period, but the ICC recognised a persuasive case and gave him special dispensation.
Joyce was born in Dublin, and from a large family with four brothers and four sisters. He was a star for Ireland at ICC Trophy level, scoring 758 runs in 14 matches between 2001 and 2005, at an average of 84.22. But he always had ambitions to play at the highest level and, after completing his English residency qualification in 2005, made his one-day debut against Ireland in 2006. The Irish team included his younger brother, Dominick. Two days later, he represented England in his first Twenty20 International, before missing a month with a sprained ankle. International cricket, though, had whet his appetite and upon his Championship return for Middlesex at Edgbaston he struck a career-best 211 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
He seemed to cement his England place with good performances in Australia - the highlight being a century against Australia at the SCG and then against lesser opponents in the 2007 World Cup, although questions began to be raised about his fluency and he was discarded after England's dismal tournament. Joyce was an important part of Middlesex's middle-order for a decade from his debut in 1999, but his frustration at a stalled England career was evident and after an unhappy 2008 he severed his ties with Middlesex and moved south to Sussex where he became an influential member of the side without ever regaining his England place.
He became Sussex captain in the middle of the 2012 season, succeeding Michael Yardy. He had an exceptional summer in 2014, hitting seven centuries and averaging 66 in the Division One of the Championship, outdone only by Yorkshire's Adam Lyth among regular performers. The England selector Angus Fraser even suggested that, were Joyce still eligible, he would have been seriously considered as Alastair Cook's opening partner in the Test side. He resigned after Sussex were surprisingly relegated in 2015, leaving Luke Wright to pick up the role in all three formats. The advent of first-class cricket in Ireland left him unsure of his Sussex future at the end of 2016, a season in which he set a new career-best with a masterful 250 against Derbyshire in Derby.
An oddity in Joyce's career was a rare form of dismissal in a Championship game against Warwickshire in 2009 when he swept a ball from Ant Botha straight into the pocket of the fielder at short leg, Jonathan Trott, who was leaping to take evasive action at the time.
Once Joyce recognised his England career was over, without the Test debut he had craved, he made clear his intentions to return to an international career with Ireland. He was named in an Irish pre-World Cup touring squad in October 2010 - more than five years after his last outing for Ireland - and shortly afterwards was granted special dispensation by the ICC to represent his country of birth at the tournament in February 2011. He explained that he had been driven to qualify for England by his desire to play Test cricket - "the pinnacle of the game" - but that as a "born and bred Irishman" he was eager to contribute to Ireland's success if that chance of Test cricket eluded him.
He is one of five members of the Joyce family to represent Ireland. Two brothers, Gus and Dom, and twin sisters Isobel and Cecelia, have also done so, with Isobel also captaining the Ireland women's team.
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