Ireland batsman James Shannon has confirmed his retirement from cricket at the age of 29.

The Belfast man played 19 times for Ireland, scoring a half century on debut against South Africa A in 2012.

Injury and loss of form meant his appearances were sporadic thereafter, but he looked to have turned a corner with the award of a full-time contract in 2018 following an impressive 2017 campaign at interprovincial level for the Northern Knights.

His top score of 60 came in a T20 international against India, taking just 35 balls and he look destined for a long spell in the side.

However he was to play just once more in the green shirt, and didn't feature at all in the 2019 season.

A part-time off-spinner, he joined a select group of those who took a wicket with his first ball in international cricket, against Hong Kong in 2013, the game that sealed Ireland's qualification for the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.

Shannon also played for Ireland in two Under 19 World Cups in Malaysia in 2008 and New Zealand in 2010.

“I am today retiring from all levels of cricket, which will allow me to concentrate my focus on my next career move," Shannon said in his retirement statement.

“I would like to thank Cricket Ireland, and all the coaches and players I have worked with over the years for the opportunity to represent my country. It is something that I will cherish forever.

"Wearing the jersey was always my dream, and it was something I never took for granted. I wish the team all the success for the future and I will be a keen supporter of all things Irish Cricket.”

A giant who was dominant at club and interprovincial cricket, Shannon never really showed this ability on a consistent basis at international level, a fact acknowledged by Performance Director Richard Holdsworth.

“While it is probably true that we never saw the very best James had to offer at international level, I doubt anyone who saw his innings against a frontline Indian attack at Malahide in 2018 could ever doubt the talent he possessed.

“We wish James well with his next step and look forward to seeing him as an Irish cricket supporter for many years to come.”