Wednesday 13 November 2019

Cricket: Rankin quits Ireland to pursue England ambitions

Boyd Rankin will retire from international cricket with Ireland in the autumn in a bid to play Test cricket for England.

Rankin, who has also today signed a new three-year contract with Warwickshire, is available to represent Ireland in the ICC World Twenty20 which starts in Sri Lanka next month, with the squad being finalised this weekend.

But then he wants to concentrate on breaking into the England set-up.

Rankin, 28, said: "It's been a difficult decision for me but I will be retiring from playing cricket for Ireland after the World T20.

"I feel I can't continue to play the amount of cricket I have been playing with Warwickshire, England Lions and Ireland over the last few years.

"I have genuine ambitions of playing Test cricket and have to give myself the best chance to do that by reducing my workloads as a fast bowler and concentrating on playing cricket for Warwickshire."

Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: "Boyd has been a superb strike bowler for us, particularly in World Cups and qualifying tournaments.

"Time and time again he took vital early wickets and the new-ball partnership he has forged with Trent Johnston has been one of the main reasons for our success since 2007.

"It's obviously a very damaging blow for Ireland, but we've lost players before and bounced back and I'm sure this time will be no exception.

"His absence will create opportunities for others and I'm certain they will grasp them."

Rankin is delighted to have signed a new deal for the Bears, who are challenging for the LV= County Championship Division One title.

A season's best haul of 55 first-class wickets last season led to a call-up for the England performance programme and subsequent England Lions tour of Bangladesh.

Rankin said: "It's fantastic to put pen to paper and commit to such a great club as Warwickshire for the next three years.

"The coaching team have been great in helping me develop as a cricketer and we have a team that's capable of consistently challenging for honours.

"At present we're very well placed to push for silverware and I'm committed to doing everything possible to help us realise this in 2012 and beyond."

PA Media

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