The International Cricket Council (ICC) has confirmed that Ed Joyce has been granted special dispensation to allow him to play for Ireland in the 2011 Cricket World Cup which starts next February and which will take place in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, writes RTÉ's John Kenny.

The ICC has, however, declined the request from Cricket Ireland to have Irish passport holder Hamish Marshall cleared to take part.

This means the New Zealander won't be eligible to play for his adopted country until the start of next April, after the finals come to an end.

According to an ICC statement, Joyce was granted permission for his four-year standout period to be slightly reduced so that he could compete in the Cricket World Cup 2011. This was done on the basis of exceptional circumstances and the unique facts of his specific case.

‘It's obviously tremendous news,' said Joyce, who is with the Irish squad in a training camp in India at present.

‘Playing for Ireland again is something I've given a lot of thought to over the last few years and to be given the opportunity to do so, a little earlier than expected and on the biggest stage, is absolutely fantastic.’

Irish coach Phil Simmons added: ‘It would have been fantastic to have both Ed and Hamish available, but it's not to be. I feel very sorry for Hamish, but this squad will be at other big tournaments - of that I'm certain.’