Teams Played For
Ireland, Middlesex, Ireland A, Dublin Chiefs
Andrew Balbirnie is a reliable Irish middle-order batsman who is a by-product of the U-19 World Cup and another cricketer to follow the path of Eoin Morgan when he signed for Middlesex. He donned the Irish colours in 2010 but carved himself for the next four years before finding his consistency.
Balbirnie captained the Ireland U-19 team during the 2010 World Cup, although the right-hander had a horrific tournament as he could manage to score only 31 runs in five games. Post the ICC event, he was called to represent Ireland at the highest level. Balbirnie made his international debut against Scotland in an ODI game in July. The youngster played a couple of ODIs more in 2010 before getting dropped for four years.
Balbirnie went under the grind of domestic cricket to become a reliable batsman and made a comeback at the international arena in 2014. He was also contacted by Middlesex where the Dublin-born played for two years before getting released following a struggle with a hip injury.
Post becoming a consistent performer for Ireland, Balbirnie was named to the 2015 World Cup squad held in Australia and New Zealand. He finished the campaign as Ireland’s third-highest run-getter with 236 runs from six outings.
A year later, the right-hander was on the flight to India to play the 2016 World T20, however, the tournament became one of the lowest points in Balbirnie’s career. He suffered a career-ending hip injury that kept the Irishman away from the game for most of the season and also ended his county stint.
The Irishman made an inspiring comeback in 2017 and his international career has flourished since then. Balbirnie scored his maiden first-class century against the Netherlands in the Intercontinental Cup and got the three-figure mark, back in 2018 in an ODI against UAE. One year later, when Ireland played their maiden Test, Balbirnie made his debut in the longest format as well against Pakistan. Though, the historic game wasn’t pleasing for Balbirnie as he registered a pair on debut.
The 2019 season become most gratifying for Balbirnie as he scored ODI tons that season and later earned the leadership for Ireland. He captained Ireland to victory in their famous win over England at Southampton, courtesy of his 224-run stand with Paul Stirling to outclass the World Champions.
Balbirnie has been playing the sport at the highest level for a decade now. He has become one of the finest batsmen to emerged from Ireland. He also captains his nation and with age on his side, Balbirnie has a lot to offer to Ireland Cricket, across all formats.
(As of April 2021)