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Andy Balbirnie

Andy Balbirnie takes over Ireland T20I captaincy from Gary Wilson

With the ICC Men's T20 World Cup less than a year away, Ireland have transferred the T20I leadership mantle to Andy Balbirnie, who was recently named the ODI and Test captain.

Wilson's last assignment as captain was the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, where Ireland finished third, confirming their spot in the T20 World Cup, which begins on 18 October in Australia next year.

Balbirnie has now been handed over the reins with the view that he can stamp his mark across the three formats. "Both Gary and the selectors believe that Andrew Balbirnie should have the opportunity to forge his leadership style and his standards across all three formats, explained Andrew White, Ireland's chairman of selectors.

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"Whilst he was announced as Test Match and ODI captain a few weeks ago, after consultation with the selectors and Gary it was agreed by all that with similar players likely to be utilised across all formats it was important that Andrew was allowed to stamp his mark on the new generation of players coming through."

White applauded Wilson for his role in shaping Ireland's T20 Qualifier campaign. "Gary has been an inspirational leader and our qualification was largely down to his attention to detail in planning and getting the best out of his players in a short space of time."

Gary Wilson captained Ireland in 25 games after taking over the role full time in June 2018
Gary Wilson captained Ireland in 25 games after taking over the role full time in June 2018

Wilson, who captained Ireland in 25 games after taking over as full-time captain in June 2018, pledged full support to Balbirnie and confirmed his commitment to continue as a player. "It was an absolute honour to be asked to captain Ireland – it was something that I dreamt about as a child. When I took on the job 18 months ago it was always the remit to qualify for the World Cup and re-assess from there.

"I'm very much looking forward to continuing as a player and working with Balbo in the future. I think it will prove to be a great appointment and believe that it is important that he, as a captain, has control of all three sides and gets to take it in a direction that he sees fit."