"I want to be part of the team that plays Ireland’s first test match" - Ed Joyce signs central contract

Irish cricket international has his eye on history in the future

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Ireland's Ed Joyce celebrates 150 Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White

Ed Joyce has signed a central contract with Cricket Ireland.

The former England batsman, who has represented the Irish national team since 2011, is among a group of 10 players to put to pen to paper on full-time deals as Ireland aim to secure full Test status.

Joyce says he wants to be part of the team to play Ireland's first test match.

He told Cricket Ireland that, "Coming back to play full-time for Ireland and also play in the Inter-Provincial series was a big decision but also quite an easy one in the end. Test cricket is the pinnacle for any cricketer. Ireland has a huge opportunity in the next few years to play at the highest level and I want to be part of the team that plays Ireland’s first test match."

Ireland has been an associate member but could play test cricket as early as 2019 with the International Cricket Council (ICC) set to grant the country and Afghanistan full test status.

The bid for full test status was also boosted in October when the ICC granted Ireland's premier domestic cricket competition, the Hanley Energy Inter-Provincial Championship, first-class status. 

It was the first time first-class status has been awarded to a domestic competition outside of a Test-playing country.

Joyce has been part of Ireland's squads for the 2011 and 2015 Cricket World Cup tournaments, as well as ICC World Twenty20 events.

He will continue to play in the County Championship with Sussex while also representing Ireland.