Ireland has been one team that saw its peak between the 1980s and 2000s. Ahead of their male counterparts, they made their international debut 19 years before them. With a lot of new talents coming in, we saw a lot of them bidding goodbye to the sport. Off late, after Ireland’s exit from the World Cup with their loss against New Zealand, Isobel Joyce, Cecelia Joyce, Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe announced that it’s their innings off the field that they’re going to enjoy from hereon.
Mutual respect and sportsman spirit is what makes the game of cricket unique. The Ferns surely made sure they live upto it. They gave the 4 legends a guard of honour and made their goodbye a memorable one. People and players from various parts of the world pouring in their wishes was cherry on the cake.
ISOBEL JOYCE :
Isobel made her Test Debut against Pakistan where her team defeated the opponents. That has been the only test Ireland has played. She went onto make her ODI debut on June 26th, 1999 which she played against India. She played the role of an all – rounder for her team and never left an opportunity to make her mark. The woman with number 9 on her jersey, made her T20 debut in June 2008 and ten years later in 2018 counted her lasts against New Zealand. The captain of Ireland in 62 matches across all formats, she surely had a lot to her name. An eventful year where she is concerned, she was selected for the World Cup T20 qualifiers in June, followed by her selection in the squad for the same tournament in October and was also named the Female Club Player of the Year at the annual cricket Ireland awards. She couldn’t do much with her bat in her final match for her country as she had to return to the pavilion with no runs to her name and was quite expensive with her bowling too.
CECELIA JOYCE :
Sister of Isobel, Cecelia made her ODI debut in 2001, two years later than her sibling. She made her T20 debut in 2001 as well which she played against Australia. She served as an all – rounder for her team, right handed batswoman and a leg break bowler. She had an average of 23.53 and 23.46 where her batting in ODIs and T20s is concerned and an average of 104.00 and 31.00 in ODIs and T20s is where bowling is concerned, respectively. Cecelia, in her final match could only bag a run to her name.
CLARE SHILLINGTON :
Clare Shillington has played a Test, 90 ODIs and 43 T20 games for her side. She started her career as an off spinner and a lower order batswoman but later went onto become an opener for her team. She also captained her side in 15 ODI games and a few T20s. Following her retirement from ODIs in 2016, she announced her retirement from T20s as well on 17th November 2018. She had been among the favourites to be followed and also completed 1000 T20 runs in her match against India. Shillington couldn’t capitalise on the start and was sent back to the pavilion scoring only 12 runs in her final match.
CIARA METCALFE :
Metcalfe has always been an essential in the team because of her heroics in the spin department. She has made mind boggling contributions on field and had taken 4 wickets for 26 runs in the 12 overs that she bowled in her debut test against Pakistan and helped her team bowl the opponents out for only 53 runs. She took her 100th wicket against Uganda in June 2018 during the T20 World Cup qualifiers. Metcalfe, remained not out in her final match but was quite expensive with her bowling.
17th November was a day that would be a special one where not only the Irish but also cricket lovers are concerned. 4 legends announced their retirement to the world and a mixture of emotions was something that one would expect in the dressing room and the stadium. Making their mark, all four surely had their own rollercoaster rides in their careers that they would always carry in their hearts. A tough day to not cross the line but after all it’s a game and one team has to have a next time. With that, all smiles – from one field to another – from one innings to another – you’ll always have a special place in our hearts. Thankyou for your show in all these years. Thankyou.