Gary Wilson has played his last game for Ireland after being confirmed as the new coach of North West Warriors.
Ireland’s third most capped player - behind Kevin O’Brien and William Porterfield – was one of four applicants interviewed for the new full-time role of Head Coach and Pathway Manager of the Warriors and he succeeds Ian McGregor.
The role will see WIlson take overall responsibility for the coaching and developing players in the senior and Emerging Warriors men’s squads as well as planning and managing the regional development programme for the boys and girls teams and the women’s performance programme.
“Coaching is always something I’ve thought of once I finished playing. What’s exciting about it here in Ireland is the impact I think I can have – the chance to improve players. I’m really passionate about Irish cricket and hopefully can help bring through the next generation and to see Ireland flourish in the future really excites me.”
The appointment of Wilson, who will continue to play for Civil Service North, means that the coaches of the three major teams in the inter-provincials are all based in the NCU with CIYMS skipper Nigel Jones in charge of Leinster Lightning and Simon Johnston the head coach of Northern Knights.
Wilson made his Ireland debut in 2005, against MCC at Upritchard Park, the game when Strabane’s Peter Gillespie hit Ireland’s fastest century off 47 balls.
The last of his 292 appearances was a T20 international against West Indies in St Kitts in January 2020 but he had already been ousted as first choice wicket-keeper in the one-day international arena by Lorcan Tucker.
“To step away from international cricket after 16 years is something I will miss dearly,” Wilson added.
“I will miss the guys probably more than anything, but pulling on the shirt and playing for Ireland was the only thing I ever dreamed of growing up. If I had thought I’d have made it 10 times, I would have snapped your hand off, so 292 times is something I’m very proud of.
“To be named T20 captain for Ireland in 2018 was probably my proudest moment internationally, but probably my best game in an Irish shirt was the World Cup match against UAE in Brisbane (one of seven World Cup tournaments he played in)" when he scored 80 off 69 balls and took two catches.