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Time is right for Wilson to take T20 captaincy, says Porterfield


New challenge: Gary Wilson
New challenge: Gary Wilson

By Ian Callender

Gary Wilson is the new Ireland T20 captain after William Porterfield stepped down ahead of next week's Tri-Series in Holland.

Following his surprise decision, even to the selectors, Porterfield will play in the ranks for the first time in 233 matches across all formats, after taking over from Trent Johnston when he quit 50-over cricket in 2008.

"I have been fortunate enough to captain Ireland at the last five World Twenty20s," said Porterfield. "(But) with the (next) 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."

Wilson, if you ignore his white-ball form at the 50-over World Cup qualifiers in March, was the obvious successor as he is Derbyshire T20 captain and was Ireland's best batsman in the T20 internationals early last year - they haven't played one for 15 months - when he scored 256 runs, at an average of 51.2, batting at No.5.

Despite making his debut as a T20 specialist three years ago, Tyrone Kane has not been included, with the selectors preferring Peter Chase, and there is no room either for Andy McBrine with George Dockrell keeping his spot after his persuasive five wickets and 98 not out from 96 balls in Leinster Lightning's 50-over win against Northern Knights on Monday.

The Durham pair of Stuart Poynter, who will keep wicket, and Barry McCarthy return.

Ireland Women lost the T20 international against New Zealand in Dublin yesterday by 10 wickets, the White Ferns reaching their target of 137 in 11 overs.

Ireland squad: G Wilson (capt), A Balbirnie, P Chase, G Dockrell, B McCarthy, K O'Brien, W Porterfield, S Poynter, B Rankin, J Shannon, S Singh, P Stirling, S Thompson, C Young.

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