Ed Joyce insists that his main focus in cricket is with Ireland after agreeing a central category-A contract with Cricket Ireland and leaving Sussex.
Joyce decision to walk away from Specsavers County Championship side Sussex is a major coup for Ireland as they continue to try build towards Test cricket.
The 38-year-old will play for Ireland and Leinster Lightning next year and although there had initially been reports that Joyce would be ‘job-sharing’ with Ireland and Sussex, he revealed that he has no contract with the English county.
"I’ve been job sharing for the last few years," Joyce said on 2FM’s Game On."“I think this is more of a case of me deciding to come back to Ireland, to play first and foremost for Ireland and the interprovincials here.
"What’s secondary then is possibly playing some county cricket for Sussex. What used to happen in years gone by is that it was the other way around – I’d play for Sussex first and play for Ireland secondary.
"That’s the decision, we’ve come back here as a family – my wife and my two boys.
"We [Ireland] have the possibility of Test cricket in a few years and an ever growing fixture list so it was a great time to come home and I was lucky to be able to do that."
The Dubliner revealed that Sussex were eager to retain his services and that they would prefer if he was still at the 1st Central County Ground but added that they undestood his decision.
"Sussex we okay about it. They knew I was at that stage of my career when I want to play for Ireland and Ireland’s fixture list is quite demanding now.”
"Even if I’d gone back and played county cricket first I still would have only been available for seven or eight of their four day games so they were well aware this day could come," he added.
"They’re well placed for next year. I think they would have preferred I was still playing for them but they saw it coming and they took it really well."
Joyce confirmed that while he could still technically return to play for Sussex it will only happen when Ireland and Leinster are not in action and in the case of an injury crisis.
"I envisage playing for Ireland and Leinster 99% of the time if I’m honest. If next year Sussex had lots of injuries, I’m available for seven games the way the fixture list sits at the moment.
"They know which seven games they are and they can use me they can communicate that a week or two in advance but as it is, I haven’t signed a contract with them, I’ve just made myself available if there are injuries.
"My main contract is with Cricket Ireland."