Thompson wants Ireland chance
Alistair Bushe (News Letter)
BRIGADE all-rounder Johnny Thompson admits he would dearly love another opportunity in Ireland colours.
The 29-year-old, who has been one of the stand-out performers in Ulster cricket so far this season, hasn’t been seen in the international set-up since an appearance for Ireland A in the middle of the last decade.
But with more than 700 runs to his name this season and 21 wickets, Thompson has been playing some of the finest cricket of his career.
The former Donemana and Glendermott man has looked on with a degree of envy as a series of Ireland A squads have been announced without his name included.
“No-one has mentioned Ireland to me, but I would love to be given another go,” said Thompson. “I’m certainly available for selection and I certainly think I’m playing as well as I ever have done.”
Thompson is traditionally seen as a fast-bowling all-rounder, but perhaps conscious of an under-par campaign with the bat in 2011, he has been scoring heavily this summer, despite the stop-start nature of the season.
“I’ve certainly been making a big effort to improve my batting from last season and I’m really happy with the 700 runs I’ve got so far,” he continued. “Last year I think I was playing too many big shots early in my innings and it cost me. But I’ve been a lot more patient this season, I’ve been waiting more for the bad ball and it’s paying off for me.”
Thompson has set his targets high for the remainder of this weather-ravaged season. He wants to pass 1,000 runs with the bat and reach 50 wickets with the ball. That kind of form should catch the eye of the Irish selectors.
He said: “If we get to the final of the Senior Cup there would be 16 matches between now and the end of the season so I would hope to pass 1,000 runs. If I can do that then Brigade will win plenty of matches.”
He added: “We really want to get to the Senior Cup final, that is our number one aim, and we still have the Ulster Cup to look forward to as well. This season was always going to be tough after we lost Chris Dougherty and David Barr along with Ata-Ur Rehman who won us a lot of games last year. But we still have the chance to win two cups.”