Trent Johnston To Retire In December

Trent Johnston dives for a catch during the ICC World Twenty20 2010
©REUTERS / Action Images

Ireland fast bowler Trent Johnston has announced he will retire from international and representative cricket in December following the end of the ICC Intercontinental Cup.

The 39-year-old has played 186 times for Ireland since making his debut in May 2004 and his career has coincided with Ireland's rise up the rankings.

Johnston led the side during the 2007 World Cup, where wins over Pakistan and Bangladesh catapulted Ireland onto the global scene, which they followed up with strong performances in the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2011 World Cup, where they beat England in the group stage.

"It's been a difficult decision and I've racked my brains ever since I came back from the UAE in March. It's becoming harder to recover after matches now, so much so that I can hardly walk for a couple of days," Johnston said.

"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 gives Phil 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.

"I then had a conversation with Phil, William Porterfield, Kieran O'Reilly and Brendan Connor before the Pakistan series where I let them know of my plans. It's amazing that everyone has managed to keep the lid on this for so long - there aren't too many secrets in Irish cricket!"

In all, he captained Ireland 60 times, lifting the Intercontinental Cup twice in 2005 and 2007 and remains the competition's leading wicket-taker with 88 scalps.

"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.

"I was incredibly proud to wear the shamrock and to lead your country 60 times including a World Cup was just massive for me. It was a genuine honour and one which I'll never forget. That first World Cup put Irish cricket on the map and it's kick-started the cricketing expansion that we're witnessing now. It was a privilege to be part of that.

"The 2010 World Cricket League win in The Netherlands was pretty special. We did a clean sweep of the matches without the county players and I knew then that Irish cricket was in a good place and the future secure. The team was either composed of players who had played 100 times or less than five and to beat everyone was a special effort and I was proud to captain that team.

"I'll miss the team spirit and the camaraderie within the squad. We have a special bond and togetherness that to me makes Irish cricket stand out. Of course we have exceptional players as well, but it's the fact that we're such a tight unit that gets us through difficult times, as we saw last Tuesday in the World Cup Qualifier in The Netherlands."

© Cricket World 2013