Tim Murtagh, who played 75 games for Ireland across all formats, announced his decision to retire from international career on Friday, 29 November.
He finishes with an exact 100 international wickets. His last match for Ireland will remain the Test at Lord’s where he produced one of his most memorable spells, claiming 5/13 to help bundle England for 85.
“A Test match at Lord’s against England is a great way to finish my international career and a game I will always cherish,” Murtagh said. “I wish the lads all the best for the winter tours and very much hope to help out and be involved in some capacity in the future.”
He made his Ireland debut in 2012 and went on to become one of the team’s most reliable players. He missed playing the 2015 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup due to injury but played in three ICC Men’s T20 World Cups – in the 2012, 2014 and 2016 editions.
The 38-year-old Murtagh, who will continue to play county cricket for Middlesex at least for another two seasons, reflected on his time as an Ireland player. “I’ve had eight great years playing international cricket and loved every minute of it,” he said. “It’s sad that it has come to an end but a decision that I have made my peace with.”
“There are many people to thank for helping me on this journey. Firstly, my amazing wife Karina and the whole family who have endured many weeks/months of me away on tour living the dream. All the management and players from Cricket Ireland who have made me feel so welcome from ball one. Also, the management at Middlesex Cricket for encouraging me to play at as high a level as I could.”
Andy Balbirnie, the Ireland Test captain, also paid rich tribute to the retiring Murtagh, underlining his spell at Lord’s as the most memorable chapter of the right-arm seamer’s career.
“Standing at slip and watching Murts run in for that first ball somehow gave us a sense of confidence about the day. Saying that we didn’t expect the morning we had, but his five-wicket haul before lunch is something that is now etched in Irish cricket folklore. Definitely Murts’ reaction when he took his fifth wicket will stay with me forever.
“In any team you play in, especially as captain, the value of having some experienced heads around the squad is invaluable. While I won’t have Tim to call on going forward, I’ve appreciated his support and advice in the past – and his sense of humour within the camp.”