Johnston to hang up his bat in December
Updated: Monday, 15 Jul 2013 13:01
Ireland's Trent Johnston will retire from international and representative cricket after the ICC InterContinental Cup final in Dubai in December.
The 39-year-old, who has played 186 times for Ireland since his debut back in May 2004, will bow out in the UAE after a career which has coincided with Ireland's rise on the global cricketing stage.
"It's been a difficult decision and I've racked my brains ever since I came back from the UAE in March," he explained.
"It's becoming harder to recover after matches now, so much so that I can hardly walk for a couple of days. Indeed after that UAE tour, 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 this gives (Ireland coach) Phil Simmons the chance to find somebody to replace me. After talking with my wife Vanessa and my agent Niall Woods we made the decision to hang them up."
"It's becoming harder to recover after matches now, so much so that I can hardly walk for a couple of days" - Trent Johnston
Johnston's statistics in an Irish jersey are hugely impressive.
He is third on the all-time list of leading wicket takers with 264 at 23.13 - only Jimmy Boucher and Dermott Monteith are ahead of him. He's only one of three Irish players to have taken a hat-trick, and in addition has 2398 runs at 21.04, with ten half centuries, although he did pass three figures in an uncapped game versus Scotland in 2005.
The Australian-born ace has captained Ireland 60 times, including the 2007 World Cup finals campaign, when the squad first made such an impact in front of the cricketing world.
Johnston has a special affinity with the InterContinental Cup, lifting the trophy twice with Ireland against Kenya in 2005 and Canada in 2007. He is also the leading wicket taker in the competition, having taken 88 wickets at just 16.19 and is in with an outside chance of achieving the magical 100 landmark with two matches left.
"The ICup has always been a huge tournament for me and I think it's fitting that my career will culminate in an appearance in that. It's one of my highlights lifting that trophy back in 2005 when we beat Kenya and it'd be pretty special to bow out with a fourth medal in December."
"I'd set myself personal goals at the start of the year and I've been slowly ticking those boxes as we go along. I always knew we were going to qualify for the 2015 World Cup with the squad we have, and the standard we've been playing at for a few years now.
"I've achieved a lot in my career and I'm pretty happy with how it's all went. I'm really looking forward to the RSA Challenge ODI against England at Malahide in September, which should be a pretty amazing occasion."
Phil Simmons acknowledged the impact made by two-time Intercontinental Cup winner Johnston since his international debut in May 2004, saying: "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."
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.
Trent Johnson will be live on RTÉ Radio One's Drivetime this evening at 5.30pm.