Former Ireland skipper Johnston to retire

Johnston has played 186 times for Ireland, and appeared in both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups.

Afp July 15, 2013
"It's becoming harder to recover after matches now, so much so that I can hardly walk for a couple of days," says Johnston. PHOTO: Reuters

LONDON: Former Ireland captain Trent Johnston announced on Monday that he plans to retire from international cricket in December.

Australia-born Johnston has played 186 times for Ireland, appearing in both the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, but the pace bowler admits the strain of competing at the highest level is starting to take its toll.

The 39-year-old will call time on his international and representative cricket career after the ICC Intercontinental Cup final in Dubai in December, which takes place following the World Twenty20 qualifiers.

"It's becoming harder to recover after matches now, so much so that I can hardly walk for a couple of days," Johnston said.

"After a tour to the United Arab Emirates, it took me a full week to recover and my young son Charlie and daughter Claudia were having to pull on and off my socks, so that was quite embarrassing!

"I knew then my time was limited and, although it would have been great to play in another World Cup in Australia, it was just beyond me.

"It's time to move on to new things and gives (coach) Phil (Simmons) the chance to find somebody to replace me."

After starting his career with New South Wales, Johnston first played club cricket in Ireland in 1995 and returned for four more seasons, meeting his wife Vanessa during that time.

He eventually qualified for an Irish passport and enjoyed so much success on the field that he is now third on the all-time list of Ireland's leading wicket-takers with 264 at 23.13.

He is one of only three Ireland players to have taken a hat-trick and has scored 2,398 runs, including 10 half-centuries.

Johnston also famously hit the winning runs when Ireland earned a sensational upset of Pakistan at the 2007 World Cup.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons was quick to pay tribute to Johnston's impact on the team since his international debut in May 2004.

"Trent has been one of the pillars of this team. He's been incredibly consistent and gotten vital wickets at crucial times spearheading the bowling unit," Simmons said.

Johnston, also coach of Leinster Lightning, is now looking ahead to the next chapter in his career and hopeful he will stay in the sport in a coaching capacity.

"It's an avenue I'm hoping to remain in and obviously I'd like that to be somewhere in Ireland," he added.


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