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News

William Porterfield announces international retirement, shifts focus to coaching

His exit follows that of seamer Peter Chase who had hung up his boots last week

William Porterfield raises his half-century, Ireland vs Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Belfast, September 8, 2021

William Porterfield captained Ireland in the 2011 and 2015 ODI World Cups  •  Sportsfile via Getty Images

Former Ireland captain William Porterfield has announced his retirement from international and representative cricket. The 37-year-old, who made his international debut for Ireland in 2006, ends his playing career as the side's second-highest run-getter in ODIs, behind Paul Stirling, and second-most capped player in the format, behind Kevin O'Brien.
In all, he captained Ireland in 172 out of the 212 internationals he featured in - nobody has led Ireland more times across formats. Notably, he captained Ireland in the three Tests they have played so far and in the 2011 and 2015 ODI World Cups. The highlights on the batting front include his 85 in the 2007 World Cup victory against Bangladesh, 112 against England in 2013, and 107 against Pakistan in the 2015 World Cup.
All up, Porterfield scored 4343 runs at 30.58 and 1079 at 20.35 in ODI and T20I cricket respectively.
"It's been an honour to represent my country for 16 years - it's something I had always wanted to do since I was a child," Porterfield was quoted as saying by Cricket Ireland. "I have to say, though, it's a little surreal at the moment having made the decision to step away and retire, but I've been fortunate to play since 2006 and it's been an incredible journey.
"During my career, we've gone from an amateur team right through to now being a Test nation. From those before me, and along my journey, we have hopefully built an infrastructure that will allow the game in Ireland to continue to flourish. All I ever wanted to do was leave the shirt in a better place and leave the team in a better place, and hopefully I've played a part in doing that."
Porterfield will now turn his focus to coaching, having got a gig with Gloucestershire, a club where he had started his county career before shifting to Warwickshire.
"As I said, it feels a little surreal today, but I also feel the time is right to be stepping away - I've been given the opportunity to join Gloucestershire as a Consultant Coach until the end of the season, and these opportunities don't come around very often," Porterfield said. "It's a decision I've been thinking long and hard about over the last week or so - and I'd like to thank Cricket Ireland for allowing me to get up and going in the role over the last while. Coaching is something I'd like to be involved in next, and after talking to my fiancé Hayley, my dad and a few other people I have decided to pursue this opportunity."
Andy Balbirnie, the current Ireland captain, hailed Porterfield's storied Ireland career.
"It's a huge loss when an absolute pillar of the game calls time on his career," Balbirnie said. "William has been an amazing person to have in the dressing room, as a player and as a person. A lot of the foundations that were laid for this current Irish team were done by him and teams that came before us.
"He always epitomised what we wanted to do as a team - his work ethic, his attitude on the pitch and his passion for the game. He'll be a huge loss around the senior group, but we wish him well in his next stage of life, and hope he has an amazing time. Undoubtedly he'll be a success at whatever path he chooses to go down."
Portefield's retirement closely follows that of seamer Peter Chase who had brought the curtains down on his international career last week aged 28. Chase had represented Ireland in 25 ODIs and 12 T20Is, picking up 34 and 15 wickets respectively.