Trent Johnston to retire from Ireland duty at end of 2013

Former Ireland captain Trent Johnston will retire from international and representative cricket after the Intercontinental Cup final in December.

The 39-year-old has played 186 times for Ireland, 60 as captain, since making his debut in May 2004.

Born in Australia, he skippered his adopted country at the 2007 World Cup.

Johnston is third in the all-time list of Irish wicket-takers with 264 and has played a key role in the team's rise on the global stage.

He will retire following the ICC Cup decider in Dubai at the end of the year, which takes place after the World Twenty20 Qualifiers.

"It's been a difficult decision and I've racked my brains ever since I came back from the UAE in March," said Johnston.

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

Trent Johnston is third in the list of all-time Ireland wicket-takers

Trent Johnston is third in the list of all-time Ireland wicket-takers

"Although it would have been great to play in another World Cup in Australia, it is just beyond me. It's time to move on to new things and give Phil Simmons (Ireland coach) the chance to find somebody to replace me."

Only Jimmy Boucher and Dermott Monteith are ahead of Johnston in the list of all-time Ireland wicket-takers.

Johnston is also one of only three Ireland players to have taken a hat-trick, and in addition has 2,398 runs at an average of 21.04, with 10 half centuries, although he did reach three figures in an uncapped game against Scotland in 2005.

The all-rounder, who bowls fast-medium, has a special affinity with the Intercontinental Cup, having lifted 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 at just 16.19, and is in with an outside chance of reaching 100, with two matches left.

"The Intercontinental Cup 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 be pretty special to bow out with a fourth medal in December," added Johnston,

The Leinster Lightning coach is keen for the next phase of his career to begin, and is looking to remain in the sport in a coaching capacity.

Simmons said Johnston's "experience has been invaluable" and "his dedication and work ethic exceptional".

"Trent has been one of the pillars of this team. He's been incredibly consistent and has the total respect of all players who have played with him over nearly 10 years in Irish cricket," said the Ireland coach.