JASON MOLINS' claim to fame is that he captained the first Irish team to qualify for the World Cup.

Sadly, he didn't get to play in it, as work commitments cost him his place in the squad. The trail-breakers always have the most difficult task -- going where none have gone before -- so it's no surprise that Jason regards that 2005 qualification campaign for the 2007 World Cup as the highlight of his career.

He is honest in his assessment of his role: "We beat Zimbabwe, Surrey and the West Indies and I contributed handsomely," he explains, "but they were friendlies.

The 2005 tournament was the biggest achievement ever, so it has to be the highlight, even though I didn't personally play that well."

An aggressive opening bat, Jason played for Carlisle, Railway Union, Phoenix and Leinster, won his Blue at Oxford, made his debut for Ireland in 1999, and won the last of over 70 caps in 2005.

He captained Ireland from 2001 to 2005. After qualifying for the World Cup, Jason was asked to go on tour to Namibia later that year, "but I didn't have enough holidays to take. The only way I could do it was to arrive the day before the final, and that wasn't good enough for the coach."

Success breeds success, and that 2005 breakthrough is the foundation on which Ireland have gone on to become the top team outside the established Test sides.

Jason was also instrumental in bringing Trent Johnston into the Irish fold. "I had played with him in Dublin in '95. He was living in Australia, but I heard he was going to live in Scotland. I was captain and told him if he had an Irish passport he could play for Ireland straight away. I helped him to get into the Irish team in 2004 against Surrey, which was a big victory for us. The coach had never seen him play."

Jason won most honours in Irish cricket, but was denied an Irish Senior Cup medal as the final in 2009 clashed with his marriage to Galway-born West End star, Aoife Mulholland.

"I played all the way to the final, which Leinster won, but I got no medal."

He works in London for a US asset management company in credit research. Golf is his sport now, off an 11 handicap.