Johnston happy to be back in the sun

Sun, Apr 4, 2010 10:27 AM

Johnston happy to be back in the sun
Ireland all-rounder, Trent Johnston, has lamented his team's lack of match practice ahead of the Jamaica Cricket Festival (JCF) showcase, which also features the West Indies, Canada and host nation, Jamaica.

Johnston, 35, who was a leading member of the Irish team that surprised many with its qualification to the Super Eight stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007, after claiming the scalps of Pakistan and Bangladesh and tying with Zimbabwe during the tournament, is however confident that his team will figure prominently in the two-week JCF.

"It's been snowing for a couple of days (in Ireland) so a lot of our preparations have been indoors; gym work and that sort of thing," said Johnston.

"We have been on sort of a break for about five weeks or so since the end of the qualifiers for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, so we are probably a little bit rusty, but nothing that a few training sessions or a good three-day game won't iron out."

Johnston, who made his international debut for the Irish team in 2006, is hoping to have a leading role in his team's fortunes over the next couple of weeks and is also keeping an eye on valuable preparation ahead of this month end's ICC World Twenty20, which bowls off across the region on April 30.

"I'm really looking to play well here in the Jamaica Cricket Festival and also in the ICC World Twenty20. We really want to be successful and we hope to qualify for the Super 8 and take it from there; that is our target," said Johnston.

"As a senior player, I'd like to lead from the front. Wherever experience or a cool head is needed, I'd like to get in and benefit the team as best as I can. Hopefully it will go well and we will get our preparation right heading into the ICC World Twenty20."

In the meantime, Johnston, who has been playing cricket in Ireland since 1995, was happy to be back in Jamaica, as he reminisced on his memorable visit in 2007.

"I have a lot of great memories from back in 2007; it's where it all started for us as a team on the world stage after tying with Zimbabwe and then beating Pakistan and qualifying for the Super 8," said Johnston. "It's great here in Jamaica with great people who love their cricket, so me being a Sydney boy - and knowing how much we love our cricket in Australia - and coming here to Jamaica and the Caribbean and experiencing that as well was, and is, always a great experience."

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