Zim scared of us: Irish star

BANGLADESH - Ireland senior bowler Trent Johstone has claimed Test sides Zimbabwe and Bangladesh do not play against his team more often because they are scared of being embarrassed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) associate nation.

Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are full members of the ICC while Ireland, an emerging cricket nation, is a second-tier member of the world cricket governing body.

Johnstone, who has been at the heart of many of their greatest performances, made the comments few days after the Irish crashed out of the ICC World Twenty20 currently underway in Sri Lanka.

“Why don’t Bangladesh and Zimbabwe want to play us?” he asked. “I know why, because they’re scared that we’ll beat them and that we’ll go above them in the rankings. I know that for a fact,” he told reporters.

“And the other guys simply can’t play us because they’ve got programmes left, right and centre and IPL, BPL and Big Bash, blah, blah, blah. So I can understand that the big boys play too much cricket and that they ask how they can squeeze a series in with Ireland.

"But something has got to be done, because we don’t want to be at this ‘‘minnow’’ level as well, which is what the commentators call us.

“We’re associate cricketers and we’re aware of that, we’re not ‘‘minnows’’. I’m sick of hearing ‘‘minnow’’ on the TV. It’s disrespectful to the guys that are here training and putting the work in and it’s disrespectful to the people back in Ireland and back in Afghanistan and the others in the associate levels who put so much time and effort into cricket.

“Bangladesh and Zimbabwe aren’t ‘‘minnows’’ either. They’re full member countries and they’ve been called ‘‘minnows’’ in this World Cup and personally I’m just sick and tired of it.”

There has been an on-going argument over Zimbabwe’s place in Test cricket at the expense of such sides as Ireland, and to a certain extent Afghanistan, and Johnstone’s comments are likely to stir the debate. — Cricinfo

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