Guyana Harpy Eagles captain Leon Johnson announced before the commencement of Round 3 of the West Indies Championship, that this season would be his last playing regional first-class cricket.
Johnson has played first-class cricket for over nineteen years and has led the Guyana Franchise to five regional titles, making him equal with Tamar Lambert from Jamaica as the most successful regional captains.
Johnson knew now was the best time for him to retire.
“I’ve been playing for Guyana for 19-plus years, where I’ve been a consistent member of the team. But now I have a few commitments outside of the team and it’s hard for me give 100% to it at this time. That coupled with my performances over the last couple of seasons, I think it’s the right time to step away.”
Growing up as young boy in a rural Amerindian village in Guyana, Johnson said that cricket and football were the staple activities for kids to stay active. Johnson speaks of his love for the sport,
“It was a proud moment for me and my family to reach the highest level as someone who came out from an Amerindian village. It’s been a passion of mine since I was a little boy to play cricket and honour represent Guyana and even play international matches. A lot of my uncles played cricket so that’s how I got involved in the sport. Also seeing the likes of Ambrose and Walsh and Chanderpaul was a motivation to play for the West Indies one day.”
Johnson said the historical rivalry that Guyana has with Trinidad and Tobago Red Force. And the most competitive cricket he’s played have been against Barbados especially at Kensington Oval, has been the cricket he’s enjoyed the most over his career.
Johnson played 126 first-class matches accumulating 6724 runs, with a high score of 189 not out. His last century coming against the Jamaica Scorpions in Round 4 of the West Indies Championship when he remained on 150 not out in the Harpy Eagles first innings. He also played nine Test and six One Day International matches for the West Indies, amassing 403 and 98 runs respectively.
It is truly the end of an era of one of the most successful players and captains in regional first-class cricket.