Kevin O’Brien has been named Ireland vice-captain for the 2012 season as deputy for William Porterfield.
O’Brien takes over from fast bowler Trent Johnston who has served Ireland as either captain or vice-captain for nearly seven years.
Coach Phil Simmons said, “Trent has been a fantastic ambassador for Irish cricket both on and off the field. It’s a difficult decision but in terms of future success, I believe now is the best time for a seamless transition.
“We have a few tours coming up to Kenya and the UAE, and it’s a perfect opportunity for William and Kevin to gel together.
“I still believe Trent has much to contribute both in terms of playing and coaching input – you simply can’t replace that quality and experience he has.
“I’d like for him to concentrate now on getting back to full fitness playing and enjoying his cricket for as long as he can. He’s been a colossus for Irish cricket and it’s no coincidence that much of our success over the past decade has come with Trent in our ranks.”
Kevin O’Brien, the all-rounder who scored the fastest hundred in world cup history in March, was delighted by his appointment as vice-captain.
“It’s a huge honour for me to have been appointed vice-captain, and it’s a part of the game I really enjoy, ” said O’Brien.
“I’ve deputised for Trent and William over the past two seasons, and I suppose I’ve done reasonably well. We beat Canada and Namibia quite convincingly in the Intercontinental Cup, and I developed a real feel for it.
“I enjoy the extra responsibility and it takes your involvement to a new dimension as you’re always thinking of the next move as a captain.
“I’ve been fortunate to play under both Trent and William’s captaincy during my six years in the squad. It’s been a golden age for Irish cricket with some memorable wins in that period. I’m close friends with William and I’m confident we’ll forge an excellent partnership.”
Outgoing vice-captain Trent Johnston wished O’Brien well saying: “I’ve had talks with Phil Simmons, and we agree that the time is right for the change. I feel it will benefit the squad as we prepare for the challenges ahead. Kevin has a good head on his shoulders and I’m certain he’ll do an excellent job for the team.
“I still feel I’ve a lot to offer both the team and Cricket Ireland in the years ahead. I’ve been part of the Irish set-up since my debut in the win against Surrey in 2004, and have captained the side 60 times, including at the 2007 World Cup.
“That’s a lot of experience, and I’ll only be too happy to share it with the squad. My recovery from the knee surgery has gone well, and I’m on track to be fit for the upcoming tours.
“I’ll now be focusing my efforts on getting my match fitness and helping Ireland qualify for the finals of both the T20 and 50 over World Cups.”