Arguably the greatest cricketer to be produced in Ireland, he's a name that will divide opinion in many cricket loving households. He knew he couldn't play test cricket for Ireland so when he got a opportunity to play for England, he took the chance, although he never got the chance to play test cricket for England.
He began his career with Middlesex before eventually moving to Sussex to revive his career. He made his Middlesex debut in 1999 and the NBC Denis Compton Award in 2000. Joyce did captain Middlesex to victory in the 2008 Twenty20 Cup, but things would seem uncertain for Joyce shortly after this and his future at the home of cricket was not certain.
Joyce was Ireland's top batsman, playing several matches for his country of birth in the ICC Trophy with an average of over 70, but the news Irish fans didn't want to hear happened in July 2005, due to Joyce's residency in England he qualified to play for England. He was indeed selected for the English cricket academy and gained a spot in the England ''A'' team for their tour of the West Indies in 2006.
On the 15th of November 2006 he was selected for the test squad for the 2006/07 Ashes series in place of the highly respected Marcus Trescothick who had withdrawn from the squad with a stress-related illness. He was never chosen to play any of the tests but was chosen to play in the ODI series that followed the test series, after Kevin Pietersen was injured.
His run in the team for the series wasn't a strong with 288 runs over 9 matches with an average of 32.00, but he did score a very solid 107 from 142 balls against Australia at the SCG on the 2nd of February 2007, and became the first English cricketer to score a One Day International century away from home in nineteen matches, and was later added to the World Cup squad for the 2007 World Cup.
During the World Cup he made fifties against Canada and Kenya, but made a duck against New Zealand and was bowled for 1 by Boyd Rankin in his return match against Ireland in the World Cup
It was then announced on the 3rd of November 2008 that Joyce would be leaving Middlesex for Sussex, and his career started brightly with three centuries, and this kept him in the favour of the English selectors, and was then named in the provisional England squad for the 2009 Champions Trophy, and he also signed a further three year extension with Sussex in November 2009.
He became one of Sussex's most highly rate batsmen, and turned into one of the most dangerous one day batsmen on the county circuit, and became the first Irish batsman to reach 10,000 first class runs. With this form he would have hoped he could have pushed for a claim back into the England team, but he was overlooked and by March 2010 was considering representing Ireland again.
Under normal circumstances it takes four years to qualify to play for a country; having played for England at the 2007 World Cup in April 2007, Joyce would have been set to miss playing for Ireland in the 2011 tournament, which took place in February. He however toured India with Ireland with former New Zealand international Hamish Marshall in October 2010. It was hoped it would help assist their integration into the team in the event the ICC allowed them to play for Ireland in ODI's. However there was mixed news for Ireland in November 2010, the ICC announced that Joyce's qualification period would be shortened by the ICC and that he would be allowed to play for Ireland at the 2011 World Cup, but Hamish Marshall wasn't so lucky, but he remains in the plans for the Irish cricket team.
Joyce remains in the Irish team and hopefully he will get the chance to play test cricket for Ireland, In my opinion it's such a waste that a player as good as Joyce was left to sit on the International sidelines, to me he is one of the classiest left handed batsmen I've seen. He has become one of the most sought after players in England and a hero for Sussex cricket fans,
I would say the test world is crying out for a batsman like Joyce and hopefully for him and for all Irish fans, the world will get to see him, it's not just for Joyce but with all promising players that come from Ireland, the goal for them is to play test cricket, and that is something they can't do with Ireland. So they go to England in search of this prize, but hopefully people that are in charge can help correct this, so the fans of the world can be introduced to not only Ireland the ODI and T20 team, but the Irish team who can play the proper form of the game, which is Test cricket...