Ireland cricketer Gary Wilson leaves Derbyshire

Gary Wilson. Picture by Rowland White
Gary Wilson. Picture by Rowland White

Ireland Twenty20 captain Gary Wilson has left Derbyshire by mutual consent and is to return home to Northern Ireland.

In a statement on their website, Derbyshire said that 32-year-old Wilson had been released a year early from his contract.

The club’s head of cricket David Houghton said: “Gary is a top professional and highly experienced, both in the county game and internationally with Ireland.

“With Gary playing Test cricket for Ireland and therefore unable to continue as an English-qualified player after 2019, it was agreed to give the wicketkeeper-batsman responsibilities next year to a player with a long-term future at Derbyshire.

“Everyone at the club wishes Gary all the best for the future.”

Wilson said: “I’d like to thank Derbyshire for the opportunity to play for the club over the past two years.

“The Twenty20 in 2017 was a time I will remember particularly fondly and I’d like to wish Dave Houghton and Billy Godleman all the best for the future.

“With Ireland gaining full ICC Membership and being part of the future tours programme, coupled with my young family, this is a good opportunity for us to move back home.”

After moving from Surrey, Wilson made his Derbyshire debut in 2017, going on to feature in 17 first-class matches and scoring 758 runs at an average of 29.15, with five half-centuries and a top-score of 97.

He captained Derbyshire in the Vitality Blast for the last two seasons, helping the Falcons reach the quarter-finals in 2017.

In total, Wilson featured in 50 matches for the club across all forms, scoring 1,281 runs and taking 56 catches.

Wilson will be expected to sign for his boyhood club Civil Service North, who he represented in last season’s Gallagher’s Challenge Cup, and he will now be available for all of the Northern Knights’ interprovincial matches in 2019.