Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 12 July 2014

White has no plans to retire as he equals Irish cap record

The Intercontinental Cup final, between Ireland and Afghanistan, which got under way in Dubai this morning, is a landmark game for two Ireland players and the National Coach.

For Phil Simmons, it is the first game of his fourth spell as Ireland coach, following the two-year extension to his contract announced at the weekend; for Trent Johnston, it is his 198th and last international as a player; and for Andrew White, it is his 226th, equalling Kyle McCallan's all-time appearances record for Ireland.

White admits it is not something that was on his radar when he made his debut in July 2000 but, having got this far, he has confirmed he will be available for selection for at least one more year.

Although White has been an automatic selection in the longer format of the game, where he is averaging almost 55, the Instonians vice-captain has played in only two of Ireland's last nine one-day internationals – he did not bat or bowl in either of them – and was left out of the 15-man squad for the World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament.

But, having been given an Ireland contract for 2014 and still only 33-years-old, White is keen to continue in all forms of the game.

"I have no intentions to finish – I never have. I will go for another year and re-assess. I suppose a lot depends on my involvement in the one-day game. But, at the moment, I'm fit and in the year just passed I scored runs and see no reason why I have to hang up my boots.

"I have been in every one-day squad in the last year so hopefully my runs stand me in good stead. I'm prepared and ready to do a job if called on," he said.

This week, White's job is to help Ireland win a fourth Intercontinental Cup and, if successful he and Johnston will have the honour of being the only players with a complete set.

"The competition has meant a lot to us over the years and it's one we want in the cabinet to go with the other two (50-over and 20-over) and to have all three would be a massive achievement.

"For TJ and myself it was the first trophy we won, back in 2005. That was a fantastic occasion and the manner in which we won it," said White.

"The record's come a bit slower than I would have hoped at one stage (he has missed 22 of the last 35 games) but 226 caps will be a proud moment.

"Kyle's record has stood for 3-4 years and if we win this week, it will be a great memory and if TJ can perform the same way as he did in the Twenty20, then it will definitely be a great send off for him as well."

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