William Porterfield Gary Wilson Ireland captain
William Porterfield (left) and Gary Wilson © Getty Images

Ireland have named Gary Wilson their new T20 Internationals captain after William Porterfield announced that he would step down from the role. Wilson will start his tenure with a triangular series, also involving Scotland and Netherlands, at Rotterdam next week. Porterfield will continue to lead Ireland in Tests and ODIs. Porterfield, almost synonymous to the role of Ireland captain, has led them in 56 of their 61 T20Is. All Ireland’s 26 T20I victories have come under him.

Wilson, now 32, has led Ireland in a T20I before, against Papua New Guinea at Townsville in 2015-16. A stalwart of the Irish side as a batsman who sometimes keeps wickets, Wilson has played 53 T20Is. He has also featured in 96 ODIs and Ireland’s only Test, and has had stints with Derbyshire and Surrey. He had led Surrey as well, where he worked in collaboration with Irish coach Graham Ford.

“I am absolutely honoured to be asked to undertake this role. With 16 months until the qualifying tournament for next World Twenty20 tournament in Australia, I believe this is a timely opportunity to prepare the squad for an important new phase in Irish cricket,” said Wilson according to a report on the ICC website. “I hope my experience and leadership in this form of the game will be of benefit in developing the next generation of leaders and am looking forward to the first step in this journey – the tri-series in the Netherlands.”

Porterfield opened up about the timing of his stepping down: “It has been a huge honour to captain my country across all formats for the past 10 years, and I have been fortunate enough to captain Ireland at the last five World Twenty20s.

“With the qualifiers only a year or so away, I feel that now is the right time for me and the team for a fresh voice and leader in this format. I will now focus solely on my batting in a format that I love playing. I would like to thank everyone for their support over the past 10 years and indeed in making this decision. Finally I would like to wish Gary all the best in what is an exciting time for him.”

Ireland squad for triangular series in Netherlands: Gary Wilson (c & wk), Stuart Poynter (wk), Andrew Balbirnie, Peter Chase, George Dockrell, Barry McCarthy, Kevin O’Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, James Shannon, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Stuart Thompson, Craig Young.