HomeCricketNewsAndrew Balbirnie steps down as Ireland Captain after World Cup Qualifiers exit

Andrew Balbirnie steps down as Ireland Captain after World Cup Qualifiers exit

Andrew Balbirnie steps down as Ireland Captain as Ireland failed to make it to the Super Six stage of the Qualifiers matches 2023, and exits qualifiers with only one victory in group stage matches.

Andrew Balbirnie steps down as Ireland Captain

On Tuesday, July 4, Ireland Cricket team captain Andrew Balbirnie stepped down from ODIs and T20Is after the World Cup Qualifiers 2023 exit. Meanwhile, Paul Stirling has been appointed as the interim Captain for Ireland national team.

In the World Cup Qualifiers 2023, Ireland was regarded as an underperforming team, as they had one victory out of four in group-stage games. Hence, Andrew Balbirnie announced his decision to step down from White-ball captaincy, and Ireland announced that Paul Stirling would be the interim captain.

Balbirnie, 32, led Ireland 89 times across the game’s three formats since his take-over of the team’s captaincy in 2019 includes four Tests, 33 ODIs, and 52 T20Is. He informed his teammates about his decision after Ireland’s victory against Nepal in the 7th playoff, exiting the qualifiers recording a win.

Paul Stirling had captained the Irish side in four ODIs and nine T20Is. The country’s cricket board has stated about announcing the squad for the Men’s T20 World Cup European Qualifiers.

Paul Stirling
Paul Stirling(Image Ireland Cricket)

Ireland won the matches against UAE and Nepal and finished seventh in a 10-team tournament. They are about to have T20 World Cup European Qualifiers starting from July 20, following a T20I series at home against India and ODI series away against England in September.

His fellow team-mate Richard Holdsworth said, “I would also like to thank Paul for agreeing to step into the role until the end of September. Paul’s experience, both as a senior player and occasional captain, is invaluable and we wish him luck in the months ahead. As for the longer-term, a process for the appointment of a permanent captain will be undertaken in late 2023 ahead of our next international matches.”

Andrew Balbirnie about his decision

After leading the match to victory against Nepal, Andrew Balbirnie, the 32-year-old, informed his stepping down from Captaincy’s decision to his teammates.

“After much thought and consideration, I have made the decision to step down as ODI and T20I captain,” Balbirnie said. “It has been one of my great honors to lead this team over the last few years and I am hugely grateful for all the support I received on and off the pitch from the many players, coaches, Cricket Ireland, and supporters of the Ireland team.

“I feel this is the right time for me, but more importantly the team. I will continue to do my best for this team and work hard to contribute towards what I hope will be a successful period over the next number of years. Thank you.”

Heinrich Malan about Andrew Balbirnie

Heinrich Malan, Ireland’s Head Coach said, “While we completely respect Andrew’s decision to step down, for me, it is a poignant day.

“Andrew has been an exceptionally dedicated captain during his tenure, and I have greatly enjoyed working closely with him as captain. I know this was not a decision he took lightly, but one that he considered was best for the team. As a senior member of the squad, I very much look forward to continuing to work with him into the future.

“In terms of the captaincy going forward, Paul Stirling has agreed to take on the role on an interim basis until the end of the ODI series against England in September. Stirlo, as existing vice-captain of the squad, is someone I have also worked closely with and look forward to planning together through the next few months.”

I'm Johi, a dedicated cricket news writer! With a passion for the game and a keen eye for detail, I would always love to bring you the latest updates, insights, and analysis from the world of cricket & Football with a positive entertainment.

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